5 Ways to Show Your Team You’re Thankful Jonathan Herrick It’s always important to show employees you appreciate them—and Thanksgiving season is a great time to do that. Many entrepreneurs are so caught up in the rush of daily work, that they don’t take the time to show gratitude to the team members who support them in their dream of building their business. If you’ve been neglecting to tell them how much you care, now is the perfect time. So how do you demonstrate just how much they mean to you? Here are some ideas: Stay on schedule. Research shows that workers who have more control over their time are healthier than those who lack it. Even if you can’t offer flexible hours because of the nature of your business, you can give employees more ability to control their time by sticking to a predictable schedule they can plan things like daycare around. Set a public goal among your team of having everyone leave work on time every day, so they can run their personal lives in an organized way. Create a challenge where you give the team points for every day the whole group leaves on time, and offer a team reward—such a special outing—if everyone achieves a certain benchmark, such as leaving on time 90% of the time. Exercises like this not only encourage teamwork—by giving everyone else an incentive to help those who are jammed up—but also will motivate your team to focus their efforts better. And your employees will no doubt appreciate having some clarity on when their workday actually ends, something many don’t have when the lines are blurry. Create a level playing field. You don’t have to run a big company to give your employees the tools and resources they need to be successful. Whether its a CRM, or a messaging tool like Slack, the right tools can go a long way into making sure your employees feel supported. Don’t know what tools they need? Spend some time with each employee to learn what repetitive tasks they deal with day in and day out and leverage technology to eliminate the mundane part of their job. Another way to say “Thanks” is to invest in their professional development. There are a ton of online courses and workshops designed to help your employees further their skill set. As a business leader your only as good as the team around you. Investing in a few tools and resources can not only help your employees work more efficiently, but it shows that you care about them as people. Give them time to recharge. Just as entrepreneurs benefit from time away from the business to sharpen the saw, employees do, too. Ask employees to suggest a lunch-and-learn or offsite on a topic that would benefit them personally, whether it’s in an area like meditation, which will help them indirectly, or a concrete skill, like mastering Instagram marketing—then bring in an outside expert to help them master it. Allow them to do their learning on the clock, so it doesn’t cut into their personal time. Invest in wellness. Consider offering a new perk related to wellness, such as a once-a-week onsite yoga lesson from a local instructor or lunch once a month from a new healthy restaurant in your community. If you have no budget to invest, making your workplace more active by opting for stand-up or walking meetings when you can. The more your employees benefit, the more you will, too. With medical costs rising for many firms, anything you can do to help employees stay healthy could help you keep costs in check. Thank their loved ones. Every employee has people in their life who care about them and are affected when work places extra demands on them from time to time. With many companies heading into a busy season in December, now is an ideal time to send a thank-you note to the folks they share their lives with to thank them for all they do to support your employee. If your team is small, consider writing the notes by hand—the personal touch will stand out in an age of texts and emails. Imagine how your employees will feel when they come home from work and their spouse, children or parents knows what a contribution they are making, and you’ll quickly see why this approach is so powerful. We all like being appreciated, and at a time when many employees have options for finding other jobs, it’s more important than ever to let them know you care. The more valued they feel, the greater their contribution will be to helping you achieve your own goals for the business.