Running Your Business

8 Ways to Show Employee Appreciation This Thanksgiving Season


  • Showing employees how much your organization appreciates them can help maintain productivity during the holiday season

  • Hosting a Thanksgiving-themed office party or spa day can provide everyone an opportunity to relax and bond

  • It's a good idea to offer employees intangible benefits that show them how grateful the organization is

Posted by November 20, 2018

‘Tis the season to give thanks and show some employee appreciation! Thanksgiving is the perfect time to thank employees for all of their hard work during the preceding months.

There are numerous ways to show your colleagues you’re grateful this holiday season. Hosting fun Thanksgiving festivities enables you to strengthen professional relationships, helps your company retain top talent and makes all employees feel valued. Here are eight ways you can help honor the workforce this season.

1. Host a Thanksgiving-Themed Potluck

Consider making Thanksgiving week at the office one of the most enjoyable times of the year! Show your fellow employees how grateful you are to work with them by coordinating a company-wide holiday potluck. This allows you all to sit back, relax and enjoy some homemade Thanksgiving favorites at the office. Simply provide a main dish and a sign-up sheet for the sides (and remember to be mindful of individuals’ dietary restrictions).

2. Suggest an Early Release Day

What better way to show employee appreciation than suggesting everyone leave early the day before Thanksgiving? This allows your colleagues a chance to prepare for their feast at home, or travel to where their family gatherings are. Everyone is sure to appreciate the gesture!

3. Host a Rejuvenating Spa Day

Even in the most relaxed office environment, work can get stressful at times. Rewarding employees with a spa day (at the office during work hours) can demonstrate how appreciative the organization is for their hard work. To get your coworkers excited, arrange individual sessions with massage therapists or offer an aesthetician’s services, so everyone can enjoy facials, manicures and other restorative treatments.

4. Allow Casual Dress During Thanksgiving Week

Most employees appreciate casual dress days during the week of Thanksgiving. Consider giving them the gift of comfort this holiday season as a way to show gratitude for work well done!

5. Cater in Thanksgiving-Themed Foods

If you’re not planning to host a Thanksgiving-themed potluck this year, consider catering in turkey sandwiches with pumpkin spice cookies, or an entire Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings. Regardless of your company’s event budget, providing a delicious meal can enhance the holiday spirit and let employees know just how much the organization cares about them.

6. Include the Entire Family

What better way to place value on work-life balance than to include employees’ families in Thanksgiving festivities this holiday season? If it’s feasible at your office, provide a bounce house, Thanksgiving-themed face painting, turkey balloon animals and some festive, fall-themed games for the kids!

7. Offer Thanksgiving Surprise Bonuses

Showing employee appreciation could be as simple as surprising workers with a Thanksgiving bonus. Even a small, unexpected monetary bonus—such as a gift card—can effectively demonstrate the organization’s gratitude. This gesture may be especially popular during this time of year, as it enables employees to get a jump on their holiday shopping.

8. Suggest a Remote Work Day to Avoid Holiday Traffic

Traffic can be brutal during the holidays, especially near metropolitan areas. To show employees how much they’re appreciated, your company can allow everyone to work from home the day before Thanksgiving (or the entire week of Thanksgiving). This will go a long way in helping your colleagues avoid longer-than-usual commute times. Less time spent driving to work means more time with family and friends—and a better work-life balance!

Remember, Expressing Gratitude Pays Off

Showing your fellow employees how much the company cares about—and appreciates—them can be accomplished in many ways. What better time of year than Thanksgiving to show how grateful you are for everything your coworkers do at the office? It can really strengthen employee morale and maximize job satisfaction during holiday season. And don’t forget to give back to the community as well! A little bit can go a long way.

Interested to learn other ways your company can say “thanks” to the workforce? Check out the Employer Toolkit offered on United Concordia Dental’s website.

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