We are only six days into December, but I can guarantee you’ve heard Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” at least 37 times. Yes, the holiday season is officially upon us (despite the fact that it’s been Christmas at Costco since August). While we can’t always control the rapid pace of the season, we can control what takes precedence for us.
As leaders, people should be our priority. Whether it’s family and friends or employees and clients, the holiday season is a great time to intentionally connect with those we love, value, and depend on. While age-old traditions are great with family and friends, consider a reboot for your workplace holiday celebration. When it comes to celebrating employees and clients, Forbes recommends tossing out the company parties and corporate gifts for something more meaningful. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your holiday program is inclusive and effectively communicates to your team/clients that they are seen and valued.
If you opt to buy gifts, make sure they’re personal. After all, how many company mouse pads can one person use? Selecting personal gifts requires knowing something about the people you’re giving them to. It can be as simple as noticing the Starbucks coffee they bring in each morning (gift card!), or learning in conversation that they’re huge hockey fans (jersey!). I have a colleague that keeps a Google Sheet specifically to track others’ interests and needs so she can reference it later when looking for a gift idea.
The bottom line is, the best way to acknowledge your employees and clients in a meaningful way is to show them that you’re paying attention. While the gift itself is nice, being acknowledged for their unique interests and personality will be appreciated long after the gift is opened.
On that note, I’d like to express my deepest gratitude to each and every one of you. I do not take for granted the opportunity to support you and your organizations in our joint mission to embed trust and belonging in your workplace. I wish you all a holiday season full of rest, gratitude, and all the things that bring you joy.
Want to learn more about the importance of real relationships?
41 Gifts for Every Type of Employee; The Cut
15 Simple-yet-Appealing Gifts for Remote Employees; Vantage Circle
In December of 1834, Black and white men and women in the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society set out to expose the republic that claimed a commitment to liberty yet continued to hold many as slaves. Women led the campaign, organizing Christmas bazaars to finance the abolition cause and further promote the anti-slavery message. It’s argued that these bazaars and the symbols used in their anti-slavery campaigns introduced what is now considered American Christmas (we’re looking at you, Christmas trees). Learn more about The Women Who Gave Us Christmas.