show appeciation with a thank you note card

With the holidays so quickly approaching, it’s a great time to show our appreciation for those who support us throughout the year.

Whether it’s our staff, vendors, industry colleagues, bosses, travelers, et al, when we take the time to consider how many people have a hand in our accomplishments, it can be eye-opening.

On the flip side of that thought, I’m sure we’ve all heard the adage that “People don’t leave companies; they leave bosses.”

And with that in mind, we have to consider that what most people really crave (aside from adequate compensation) is greater appreciation for the work they do and the roles they play.

In fact, global studies reveal that nearly 80 percent of those who leave their positions cited a “lack of appreciation” as their reason for leaving.



10 Ways to Show Appreciation

So, in the spirit of the holidays and simply of doing “the right thing,” following are 10 suggestions for demonstrating the kind of appreciation your network of professionals LOVE to receive.


1. Host a gathering

Is a year-end holiday party the way to go or would a summer picnic with families be more fun? What about both? Numerous studies indicate that group social events outside of the workplace can have a tremendous positive impact on employee satisfaction. A picnic or holiday event can generate enormous goodwill which, for any company or department, is like money in the bank.


2. Make a call

One simple way to show your appreciation for someone on your team (or in your orbit) is an impromptu call, with a heartfelt message of gratitude.


3. Celebrate wins

Which recognition programs or goal-hitting celebrations do you have in place? Officially recognizing individual and team successes throughout the year is an absolute necessity for any company, department or group.


4. Ask them

Want to know what are the most meaningful ways to reward your staff? Why not simply ask them? Have your employees jot down five or six ways they would like to be rewarded for their good work. Tell them anything goes. The only rule is that half their ideas need to be mindful of budgets and either low-cost or no-cost.


5. Write a note

Digital communications are the way of the world, but there’s still something to be said for a handwritten note. The personal nature of it lends itself to the idea of “speciality,” and, frankly, nothing shows gratitude more than your having taken the time to personally pen something to a staffer.


6. Take Them to Lunch

Want to make someone on your team feel really special? Pick up the phone and invite them out to lunch. And then use the lunch time to help mentor or coach them on something that will help them be an even better employee.


7. Give back

Everyone feels good about working for or with a company that demonstrates its commitment to charitable organizations in the community. When employees or staff are encouraged to volunteer at the local food bank, or donate toys to the local fire station or the Marine’s Toys for Tots program, for example, it enables them to better bond as a team. Millennials, especially, prioritize working for socially conscious companies, and actively seek to work for organizations that have a record of being so.


8. Publicly praise

Not everyone enjoys being publicly singled out and praised for being a shining star, but most people appreciate hearing, at least, “Hey! You did a great job today!” And, with discretion, it can even be better if the compliment is in front of the rest of the team. The point is, seek out how to show your appreciation in small ways, by mentioning a job well-done in an email or, when it’s warranted, bring up a team member’s contributions during a staff meeting.


9. Thank the families

Our industry wouldn’t be successful without the support and sacrifice of our staff members’ families. Over these holidays, make sure your team’s nuclear families and extended relatives know how much you appreciate them.


10. Hand out bonuses

Notwithstanding all the prior tips, there’s nothing more tried and true—or meaningful—around the holidays than surprising them with a cash bonus. If certain individuals’ professional goals were met for the year, and if your budget allows, a financial reward is always appreciated. Especially if it’s unexpected.



The Right Stuff

Especially this year, when the aviation industry is experiencing such a critical shortage of talent, and employee retention is necessarily top-of-mind for any organization, employee satisfaction has never been more important. In view of the situation, I think we all might be surprised how far a simple gesture of appreciation can go to help your employees feel a greater sense of contentment about where they work. Besides, letting all of those in our professional orbit know that they’re valued is, simply, “the right stuff.”


Your turn

If you’re an employer, tell us the creative ways you show your appreciation. And if you’re an employee, what’s one way that you’d like to be recognized? Share with us your ideas in the comment section below!



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