As the holidays loom near, most of the workforce is preparing for a well-deserved break from the workplace. For hotel employees, though, even holidays don’t guarantee a day off. What can employers do to ease the pain of the holiday work schedule and help to get happy employees? Recognizing hard-working employees goes a long way in ensuring continued productivity, such as sending a holiday note to employees.
Here are six ways to give thanks to your hotel employees this holiday season.
1. Create a Thank You Wall
Whether you have limited space behind-the-scenes or you have a whole wall to dedicate to thanking employees, a “thank you wall” is an inexpensive way to show them how much they matter. Print photos of each employee or create name tags and write down a positive quality for each person.
Better yet, invite employees to write thank you notes to one another, highlighting each person’s abilities and unique contributions to the team. Be sure to include comments from team leaders, supervisors, and as many higher-up staff as possible.
One study showed that “managers focusing on employee strengths are 30 times more likely to manage actively engaged workers compared with managers denying feedback.” Giving employees positive feedback feeds the cycle of engaged and productive workers.
2. Post on Internal Communications Platforms
If an in-person thank you isn’t feasible, consider using your organization’s internal communications platform to send tailored messages. This may be as simple as typing up a quick note to each employee, acknowledging their contributions to their respective departments over the past year.
Alternatively, create a group discussion calling out each person for his or her talents. This is a positive way to build up your team using only digital resources. It also doesn’t require that you take time away from employees’ regular duties during the holiday rush, so they can check messages and join in when time permits.
3. Automate a Personalized Campaign
Today’s version of the greeting card arrives digitally, and with your organization’s communication platform it’s easy to send a personalized campaign to each employee. Keep it simple with a holiday greeting, or add a reward within the body of the message.
A digital gift card or online credit sweetens the message of any online greeting, but the greeting could also include an invitation to an employee party or announce a holiday giveaway or other perk. Should you choose to give out gift cards, maintaining the same denomination for all employees helps avoid perceived favoritism.
4. Plan a Potluck (or Order In)
While the holidays are a busy time for all hospitality staff, making sure that employees receive their breaks and have a holiday meal helps express your thanks for their hard work. Announce a potluck-style meal for the holidays or order in with catering or delivery to take the pressure off of hotel employees.
This is especially thoughtful when employees are away from their families for a holiday, or if the timing of their shift doesn’t allow for an early or late meal at home. If your property includes banquet or restaurant facilities, consider setting aside time for employees to utilize the space for their meals.
5. Offer Holiday Pay or PTO
Many businesses offer holiday pay when employee shifts fall on national holidays. If your facility doesn’t already offer this perk, consider adding it for designated holidays. Or, offer incentives to employees who volunteer to work rather than assigning regularly scheduled employees their same schedules.
Giving all employees a set number of PTO hours is an altruistic way to approach holiday perks since they’re free to use the time during any part of the year.
6. Make Time for Chitchat
According to a study from the University of Warwick, when employees are happy, they become roughly 12% more productive. But what makes employees happy? The only way to get to know your employees is to spend time talking with them, or working alongside them if the opportunity presents itself.
Getting to know your team shows them you have an interest in not only their performance, but their interests and concerns as well. Make time during your regular workday or during the holiday rush if time permits. Often, supervisors and managers need to help out during busy periods, so this is an ideal time to converse with employees.
Encourage hotel employees to make suggestions for improvements in their departments. Service staff in customer-facing departments know better than anyone else what works and what doesn’t. This is one reason why recognizing their contributions makes for a more positive and engaging work environment.