Ugly Sweater Boss

The holidays can certainly be a time of stress for employees who struggle to balance the workload with added holiday responsibilities. However, the holidays also offer a time to rejuvenate employees by celebrating and empowering them (since their happiness and performance are crucial to the bottom line). “Companies that effectively appreciate employee value enjoy a return on equity and assets more than tripled that experienced by firms that don’t. When looking at Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for, stock prices roses an average of 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, compared to 6% for the overall market” explains Dr. Noelle Nelson, Author of Make More Money By Making Your Employees Happy, when citing a Jackson Organization study. With that information in mind, here are some tips for showing appreciation to your employees this holiday season. From employee gift ideas to celebration possibilities, this list has it all.

Holiday Employee Appreciation Guide:

  1. Throw a holiday party
  2. Be flexible with holiday time off
  3. Schedule a fun team building event
  4. Offer unexpected holiday pay
  5. Verbally express gratitude
  6. Coordinate a Secret Santa gift exchange
  7. Give a gift card
  8. Take your employees to lunch
  9. Have an office decorating party
  10. Surprise the staff with breakfast
  11. Provide movie passes on a whim
  12. Empower employees with motivational behavior
  13. Inquire how you can lighten loads and delegate
  14. Offer a work from home day
  15. Surprise staff with a casual dress day
  16. Hold a cubicle decoration contest (provide small budget)
  17. Holiday card exchange
  18. Remember gift giving is not one size fits all
  19. Consult with HR to see what complaints you can help resolve
  20. Bring a gift basket for the office


Caroline Kennedy once said “Sharing the holiday with other people, and feeling that you’re giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism” (Forbes). If you lose focus on the people in your life, at home and at work, holidays lose their special touch for you and the people around you. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking your human capital that propels your company’s voyage to success on a daily basis. You wouldn’t want to end up with an ugly sweater in your stocking, would you?