The holiday season is upon us, a time when organizations of all kinds - employers, professional associations, nonprofits - come together to reflect on the year drawing to a close. For many, it's also the season of performance reviews, whether happening now or in January. Whatever the occasion, it's a chance to look back on accomplishments and recognize the contributions that drove success this past year.
Showing true gratitude goes beyond generic words. To make it meaningful, we must personalize our thanks. A simple "job well done" doesn't convey the same sincerity as calling out someone's specific contribution. When we get specific, that person - and anyone else present - understands exactly what we appreciate. Of course, any recognition, even generic, is better than no recognition at all.
Here are a couple key questions to consider: Have you made a point to recognize your team's accomplishments this year, whether big or small? What about the volunteers who devote their precious free time to your organization's mission?
If we neglect to acknowledge people's efforts, how likely are they to maintain that level of commitment in the future? Appreciation fuels engagement. When people feel their work is overlooked, their motivation suffers. A few kind, thoughtful words can go a long way. And taking the time to personalize our gratitude shows that person they matter; that they warrant the extra thought and preparation. It transforms an obligatory "thank you" into a meaningful acknowledgement of their value.
This holiday season, challenge yourself to recognize your team in a way that truly resonates with each individual. Share specific stories of their contributions that will resonate long after the holidays have passed. How will you make your gratitude more meaningful this year? We'd love to hear your ideas - share them below!
“The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.” - Robert Holden