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As we approach Thanksgiving, thoughts naturally turn toward being thankful. Although this usually plays out personally, the holiday is a good reminder for company leaders that their employees could use some regular thanking, too. Here are eight fun ways to do just that

1. Offer flexible scheduling options

When high-performing employees are putting in long hours to get tasks done, they often sacrifice time with their families. Offering them flexible scheduling can make a world of difference to your employees and free them up to be their most effective selves.

2. Let other employees do the rewarding

Your employees can help you know what forms of recognition are the most meaningful. If you involve them in determining rewards, it will be that much more meaningful to those who are recognized and go a long way toward increasing morale and employee engagement. You can also include employees in helping identify who their co-workers are most deserving of recognition for great work.

3. Give them a tasty treat

Everyone loves food, so whether it’s a special lunch, homemade baked goods, or a pizza, offering a treat as a small token won’t soon be forgotten. These get-togethers can also build a sense of camaraderie.

4. Offer special opportunities

Whether it’s tickets to a sporting event or concert or a place on a committee or a volunteer group, unique opportunities can provide great opportunities to say thanks.

5. Try a little surprise

Spontaneous tokens of appreciation can make a big impact on employees’ morale. Consider giving them a shortened workday, a surprise team-building exercise, or post-it notes letting them know they’re fantastic.

6. Have a thank-you meeting

Schedule an actual meeting with an employee to say thank you. Be specific about what they did to earn your appreciation and recognize them in a timely fashion. Most importantly, make your expression of thanks the only agenda item in the meeting; your employee will be impressed that you set aside time to thank them.

7. Support an employee’s favorite charity

If there’s a charity that is particularly near and dear to an employee’s heart, donating to that organization in their honor could have deeper meaning than any gift you could hand them.

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