Want your employees to feel the warm and fuzzies when they come into work?
Show them gratitude.
Since being shown gratitude is deeply linked to job satisfaction and retention rates, there’s no better time than the Thanksgiving season to step up your gratitude game.
The annual November “gratitude challenge” offers you the chance to show your employees — especially top performers — how much you value their efforts.
Below you’ll find a 30-day gratitude challenge idea list of ways to show your thanks to employees.
30 Days of Gratitude Challenge Ideas for Employers
Day 1: Cater a Special Lunch
Everyone loves a catered lunch. Check out local healthy options and have lunch catered on Fridays in November for your employees. Do your best to accommodate for allergies, too, which is another level of thoughtfulness most people don’t think about.
Day 2: Give Away Gym Memberships
Offering your employees gym memberships is a great way to keep them healthy and productive at work and in life. It shows you care about their health and well-being.
Day 3: Start an Employee Hall of Fame
Create a flashy bulletin board showcasing outstanding employees in a “hall of fame” as a fun way to give kudos. Most employees appreciate public recognition for their hard work, even if it’s a bit cheesy.
Day 4: Give Out a Trophy of the Week
During meetings, consider giving out a trophy of the week for an employee who goes above and beyond. The more outlandish the trophy, the more fun it is for employees. Make sure they prominently showcase it at their desk or in their office, too!
Day 5: Offer Half-day Fridays
Friday is basically the weekend. Kick it off a little bit early for your employees by giving them half the day off sometime this month.
Day 6: Take an All-expenses Paid Retreat
Changing up the scenery in the workplace can boost creativity and increase morale. Consider taking your team on an all-expenses paid retreat to a local fancy hotel. Build-in work sessions, but also make sure employees get free time to do what they want, too. Retreats are a great time to do team-building exercises, too.
Day 7: Create a Relaxing Break Room
Ask employees what amenities and decor would make your break room better. A new coffee maker? Premium coffee and creamers? New artwork on the walls? Comfy chairs? Their answers may surprise you.
Day 8: Give Weekly Shoutouts in Meetings
During weekly meetings, offer your thanks to your team. Be specific in what you appreciate them doing. Let them know if they need support on how you can provide it to them. If certain team members are excelling, give them a shoutout.
Day 9: Allow Pets in the Office
There are a ton of perks to allowing pets at work. If you have a bunch of pet lovers in the office, let them bring their dogs to work a few days a week.
Day 10: Send Them to Their Training of Choice
Offer reward-based learning opportunities to your top employees. Ask them which seminars, workshops, and conferences they’d like to attend. Then send them on their way!
Day 11: Celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries
Celebrate your employees’ special days. For birthdays, decorate their office or desk with balloons, flowers, cards, and treats. Honor anniversaries with a handwritten card pointing out their biggest accomplishments and why you appreciate them.
Day 12: Give Away Company Swag
If your company has t-shirts, water bottles, pens, or magnets, give away nice swag bags randomly. Need some inspiration? Check out these swag ideas.
Day 13: Say Thanks
Two words that aren’t said enough in the workplace are “Thank you.” Make it a habit to regularly say thank you to your team members in an authentic way.
Day 14: Write a Handwritten Note
These cards are a fun way to say, “Job well done.” Your employees will probably get a kick out of them, too.
Day 15: Offer a Boost of Energy
Buy the team coffee every Monday from the best local coffee shop to kick-off the week right.
Day 16: Host an Ice Cream Social
Give your employees a sweet treat toward the end of the day by hosting an ice cream social. It offers a chance for them to socialize and take a well-deserved break. Don’t forget to bring in all the fun toppings like sprinkles and whipped cream!
Day 17: Deliver a Special Gift in Person
If you know of an employee who is having a tough time in their personal life yet continues to show up and do their best, stop by and see them. If they’re caring for an elderly parent, bring them a gift card for household cleaning services. Single parent? Offer a gift card for a babysitting service or meal delivery. Such thoughtful gifts will let them know how hard you see them working.
Day 18: Offer Bonuses
No one will turn down money. Reward hard workers who meet quarterly goals with bonuses that come with no-strings-attached.
Day 19: Welcome Employee Families
If a lot of your team members have families, consider creating quarterly company-wide events that are family-friendly. Bowling outings, BBQs, festivals, and picnics are all perfect family gatherings. Join in on national annual events like “Bring Your Kid to Work Day” or create your own fun kid-related events.
Day 20: Buy the Team Personalized Coffee Mugs
Buy individual mugs with your employees’ names or a fun design. Don’t forget to supply the coffee, too. Coffee consumption is good for productivity and has major health benefits! Employees will love you’re looking after their health and need for caffeine.
Day 21: Host a Thanksgiving Celebration
Give thanks to employees by hosting a Thanksgiving celebration. Cater the meal so employees can thoroughly enjoy the event. If your team is small enough, thank each of them individually throughout the course of the celebration. Send them home with a cookbook to try new recipes for the holiday.
Day 22: Organize a Potluck
Food gatherings are always welcome in offices. Bring your departments together for a quarterly meal. If your company can swing it, offer a stipend for those who bring in meals.
Day 23: Honor Flexible Schedules
Remote working can be a huge benefit for employees who have a lot going on. Consider offering one day a week where certain departments can work from home. They’ll love the flexibility!
Day 24: Host a Movie Night
Rent a blow-up movie screen and host a movie night at the office. Don’t forget to have plenty of popcorn for everyone, too!
Day 25: Ask Their Opinion
Let your employees’ voices be heard. The most engaged employees are the ones who feel their opinions matter. Ask often and implement some of the suggestions you hear.
Day 26: Makeover Common Areas
Does the entryway need a new paint job? Have employees been asking for indoor plants to liven up the place? Take a survey and see what areas employees think need a little TLC. Then, freshen it up.
Day 27: Brag on Top-notch Workers
Sending out a company-wide email update? Be sure to give kudos to standout employees, especially if top management sees the email, too.
Day 28: Engage in the Hallways
Stop and say hello to your employees. Ask how they’re doing. Recall details from your last conversation and bring those up. It makes them feel as though you truly appreciate their presence as an employee and a person.
Day 29: Award a Surprise Friday Off
Employees love nothing better than getting a surprise day off. Let them know early in the week that they’ll all have the following Friday off. This will be especially appreciated the day after Thanksgiving!
Day 30: Give Back as a Team
You’ll feel even more gratitude toward your team when you see them out in the community giving back right alongside you. As a team, vote on which local nonprofit you’d like to volunteer for. Great team volunteering ideas include roadside cleanups, Habitat for Humanity builds, and food pantry stocking. Give out company shirts to volunteers who show up, too.
Show Gratitude Year-Round For Best Results
While November is the perfect time to show your gratitude toward your employees, your company can start this challenge at any time of the year.
Consider making gratitude a part of your company’s work culture.
For starters, create a wall of gratitude. Post the question, “What are you grateful for?” and let employees start the process of writing it out on the wall. It’ll kick-start a discussion of what gratitude is all about.
If you want to see a better sense of community, increased positivity, and overall increased morale, bring more gratitude into the workplace.
It’ll give you the warm and fuzzies, too.
Do you accept this gratitude challenge? Let us know in the comments below!