What do your employees want for Christmas? (Part 3)

Still not decided what to gift to get your employees for Christmas? Did you see my Clarity, Honesty and Respect ideas in part one of my Christmas blog series? Or how about the Inspiring Appraisals, Some Management Confidence and Time ideas from part two? OK, now we’re on to the ‘M, A & S’ with some more ideas on how to give your employee the perfect gift (with some not so perfect alternatives!)

Meaningful Work

A woman is walking along the road when she sees three men smashing boulders with hammers. Being a curious type of gal she asks them what they are doing. The first replies ‘err doh – breaking big rocks into little rocks’ the second replies ‘I’m just working to feed my family’ the third replies ‘building a cathedral’
 
Of course not all of us are involved in building cathedrals (literally or metaphorically). But all of us surely are involved in work that is meaningful to our businesses or organisations (because if it wasn’t what would be the point of doing it? Read more at ‘Creating Employee Engagement with Meaningful Work’). Every single employee in some way contributes meaningfully to business success. Many employees, though, don’t see how their work is meaningful to the business. Do your employees understand how meaningful their work is? If they don’t, a neat gift is to help them understand (read some ideas on how to do this at ‘Helping Employees to Understand the Bigger Picture’)      
 
Alternative: Money. No, no wait – don’t be grumpy. I don’t mean real money. I mean chocolate money, the type that we in the UK give to kids at Christmas (chocolate disks covered in foil to look, vaguely, like coins).  Here’s how it works. You call your employees together and say something like ‘Good news! I’ve got a Christmas bonus for you!’ Then wait for their incredulity to wear off and their eyes to light up before – tada! – with a great flourish you give them all a bag of chocolate coin money. They’ll laugh and laugh. Honestly
 

Appreciation

 
Research shows that ‘appreciation for a job well done’ consistently ranks highly as a motivator in employee surveys. Yet research also shows that most people don’t feel they get enough praise 
 
So what’s going on? 
 
Putting aside the fact that it’s likely that some employees feel they should be praised for turning up every morning, my guess is that managers are sometimes reluctant to give praise because they’ve had experiences of being praised themselves in ways that, frankly, haven’t motivated them at all.  And, of course, they’re not too keen on having the same effect on their employees 
 
It’s actually quite easy to deliver praise badly – praise that is seen as patronising,manipulative or just ‘meh’by the recipient. But done well, its dynamite – and a great ‘gift’. Take a look at my blog ‘Five Ways to Give Praise’ for some ideas on how to do it well  
 
Alternative: Aromatherapy Oil. Show your employees you care about their wellbeing! How about a small bottle of Ylang Ylang to relax that uptight overachiever? Or Lemon to invigorate that laid back under performer? OK I know they cost a lot so how about buying a gallon of cooking oil then squirting in some lavender scent. A small (unlabeled) bottle for each employee. Nice. NB!! Do not under any circumstances though offer to rub the oil on to employee. We want chilled out, grateful employees – not a lawsuit.                  
 

Something Else for our Employees?

 
In this series of blogs I’ve written about what I think employees really want for Christmas (and for the rest of the year). But I know there must be something else. So, what do you want for Christmas? What do you want from your Boss? What do you want from your employees?  Why not put your comments in the box below and let’s see what we all want
 

 

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