You don't have to have a full blown Thanksgiving meal for your entire workforce, but performance is generally lower on holiday weeks like this, so why not use the time to do something special for your employees who work so hard all year long?
Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks: for your family, friends, job and staff. Since productivity tends to be a little on the low side, use this time to show your employees how grateful you are for them. If your industry is one that requires you to be open for business on Thanksgiving or the day after, it's even more important to show your gratitude. Here are five ways to celebrate Thanksgiving in the work place and to show your associates that they truly are appreciated.
Raffle a Catered Turkey Dinner
I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t appreciate a delicious Thanksgiving meal delivered to their door. There are a number of ways to offer raffle tickets - as performance incentives, for extra special projects and last but not least, for sale, with the money earned going into an employee fun fund.
On one of the days leading up to Thanksgiving host a potluck in your conference room. This gives people the chance to try out a new holiday recipe and/or wow their colleagues with their culinary prowess. There are a number of ways to jazz up a simple potluck. You can offer door prizes, or have attendees vote on their favorite dish/recipe and send it out over email. A timely prize for best dish would be a gift card for Black Friday shopping.
Handwritten Notes of Thanks
Handwritten Thank You notes seem to have gone by the wayside along with snail mail and payphones, but that is a shame. Obviously this is an idea for a smaller staff, but a well-crafted card with a sentence or two stating what you appreciate about someone can go a long way and is really in tune with the spirit of the holiday.
Silly but simple, this is exactly what it sounds like. Find an especially round pumpkin without a stem, set up some empty water bottles in the hallway, and host a little bowling tournament. Have prizes for bottles knocked over, for form and technique, and for style. Prizes could be pumpkin pies, coffee shop gift cards, or gym passes to work off the holiday feast.
Hoola Hoop Contest
Another silly but simple game to get folks into the mood of recovering from a feast is a Hoola Hoop contest. All it takes is a hoola hoop and a timer. Time everyone to see who can hoola hoop the longest. Best hoola hooper gets to go home early! A great way to burn a few extra calories before the big feast.
Work for Those in Need
Give your employees the option for a day off or half day if they spend it together helping those less fortunate. Contact your local Salvation Army or other nonprofit organization to see how you could best help. The shelters are often crowded with volunteers on the day of Thanksgiving, so maybe your team could volunteer to help with some prep work.
These are just a few ideas of how to utilize the Thanksgiving holiday to show your staff how much you appreciate them. Gratitude is a sentiment that most certainly should extend to the workplace. Now is the time to grab a pumpkin or frozen turkey, have some fun together and show your staff how much you appreciate them.