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What Should You Give Your Staff?

At times during the year, for holidays and special occasions, we often want to express our thanks to our employees thru giving gifts. What are the best gifts you can give?

Most of us wouldn’t turn our backs on luxury items like cars, trips, expensive jewelry, and such, but the best gift you can give your staff is to really listen to them and pay attention to and be honest about how they’re doing their work. It’s often easier to spend some money or ignore irritations then it is to take the time necessary to do what’s needed. Ironically, this can be the case whether the employee is doing a good job or not.

When is the last time you thought about any of your employees’ goals/ambitions? If it was during their last review, that doesn’t really count. Hopefully at some point, you did sit down with them and map out a plan, but have you followed up on it or even thought about it since? Have you asked them what they’ve done about it and/or if they need help setting up training or heading a project or whatever is on the list?

If an employee is doing a good job or has done something above and beyond, have you taken the time to let them know you noticed, and, as part of that, explicitly talked about what impressed you (as opposed to just saying “Good job!”)?

If they’re doing something that isn’t necessarily “wrong”, but frustrates you for whatever reason, have you asked about that? If you approach it from an educational standpoint, as in “I’ve noticed you do X; can you explain why?” You might learn something that deflates your irritation. If not, and there isn’t a good reason for them to take this action, it’s an opportunity for you to help the employee improve. Note: if they are doing something against policy/unproductive, you must address that as soon as you notice—this is for their sake as much as yours.

Most of us have too much on our plates, or at least, feel that way. It can be hard to step back and pay attention to what’s going on with others. But helping your staff move forward and/or teaching them better ways to be productive (or listening and learning things from them for yourself) are the best gifts you can give. Employees are looking for meaning in their work and lives, and you can help with this by providing your time and efforts. Additionally, this will help you retain a productive staff.

Things like gift cards and personalized presents are fun to give and to get. But helping your staff with their careers will be longer lasting.

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