Giving Thanks: Take a Moment to Reflect and Express Your Gratitude Toward Your Team This Thanksgiving

By Dani Moritz-Long

When we were young, we celebrated Thanksgiving by donning (admittedly inappropriate) Native American and pilgrim attire and expressing what we were grateful for through various creative means. In my case, that meant poorly crafted, hand-traced turkeys and slightly more skilled journal entries chronicling the things I was appreciative of that year. While it’s not entirely necessary to resort to arts and crafts, and I certainly don’t recommend reviving culturally appropriative headdresses and costumes, the same sentiment that applied to third grade art class can also apply to our professional lives.

Thanksgiving — despite its related historical atrocities — serves as a reminder to be kind to others and be appreciative for what we have.

As a supervisor, this time of year is an excellent opportunity to do just that. As we near Thanksgiving break, consider taking time out of your schedule to appreciate your employees and thank them for the work they do.

Need some suggestions? Coordinator of Employee Development Sally Leslie recommends the following:

Spoken Words: Just say thank you — anytime, anyway, anyhow, and for any reason. Daily feedback is best, weekly is admirable, but practice saying thank you nearly every day to some of your employees and coworkers. They and you will be happy that you took the time to care.

Written Words: Written gratitude can come in a multitude of ways — handwritten thank you notes, nominating your employee to be a Featured Colleague on The Grove, handwritten cards to mark celebratory occasions and recognition posted on the employee bulletin board are just a few.

Positive Attention: Stop by a colleague’s workstation or office to talk informally; provide frequent positive performance feedback — at least weekly; and provide public praise at a staff meeting (if the employee likes public acknowledgement). You could even take the employee out for coffee or lunch.

Encourage Employee Development: Suggest Valencia Employee Development workshops or conferences and seminars outside the college; ask people to present a summary of what they learned at a conference or seminar at a department meeting. Investing in someone’s development is a great way to show you care.

Treats: The road to the heart can be found in the stomach (at least for some of us). Buy a pizza or another lunch for a team; bring in cookies or other sweet treats for the team to share.

The Work Itself: Provide cross-training opportunities and offer opportunities for employees to work in areas they enjoy — know your employees well enough to know their preferences. You can provide opportunities for empowerment and self-management, ask the employee to represent the department at an important, external meeting, have the employee represent the department on an inter-departmental committee, provide opportunities for the employee to determine his or her own goals and direction and foster participation in idea generation and decision making.

These are all simple gestures that will take minimal time out of your day, but are effective ways to say thanks and let your employees know you care. They’re also ways to keep your staff energized, focused and engaged.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

    Valencia Hospitality Society Hosts Thanksgiving Dinner

    Wednesday, December 8, 2021 A Message from Terri Graham, Interim President, West and Downtown Campuses In the spirit of giving back and ensuring Valencia College and University of Central Florida students enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal, the Valencia Hospitality Society (VHS) hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for more than 70 students and employees on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, in […]

    Valencians Are Thankful For…

    Tuesday, November 16, 2021 Thanksgiving is called “Thanksgiving” for a reason; it’s a time to reflect and acknowledge all the good that we have in our lives. Many of us have experienced challenges and heartache during the last couple of years, and this is a good time to embrace a grateful attitude that can help us […]