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How To Show Appreciation For Startup Staff On A Low Budget This Holiday Season

By News Creatives Authors , in Leadership , at November 5, 2021

The holiday season is a great time to show your staff how much you appreciate them. However, this typically involves spending money, which is something a lot of startups can’t afford to do. 

Fortunately, there are plenty of creative ways for you to celebrate your startup staff during the holiday season and show how much you appreciate them, even if you don’t have the funds to throw a big party or buy lavish gifts. Here, the members of Forbes Coaches Council share seven of their best ideas to help startups celebrate the holidays properly on a low budget. 

1. Acknowledge Their Work And Contributions

Acknowledge their work and how much their contributions add to the collective purpose and the bigger picture. Remember their small actions and remind them that even their small thoughts mean a lot. Do it in front of the team and make sure each one feels that they count and contribute to the group’s success. – Devika Das, CORE Executive Presence

2. Enhance The Employee Experience Every Day

Many approaches to driving employee engagement, satisfaction and commitment involve no-cost or low-cost ways to enhance the employee experience at work. Develop trust with your people, give them autonomy and empower them to solve problems and innovate. Create a psychologically safe workplace where your people can continually learn and grow in their capabilities. This, more than anything else, shows that you care. – Jonathan H. Westover, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC

3. Personalize Handwritten Notes Or Little Gifts

Give personalized, handwritten notes or little gifts that mean a lot to them personally. Offer a small token of appreciation such as candles or small trinkets they will appreciate. Look online for reasonably priced items that can be personalized. Many are offered by solopreneurs online nowadays. – Sahar Andrade, MB.BCh, Sahar Consulting, LLC


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4. Show Them You Know Them

You do know them, correct? A personalized note that recognizes each person’s contribution to the company from your perspective goes a long, long way. If you have a large startup, a blanket note can be presented with one line that is personalized for each person when it is delivered to them. Letting them know that you care about each person is priceless. – David Yudis, Potential Selves

5. Set Up Individual ‘Recognition Meetings’

Set up “recognition meetings” with each team member individually so that you can spend quality time together focusing on the value they added this year. Prepare ahead of time and gather specific examples that led to their individual growth as well as the team’s. Lead with your heart and discuss their impact. Most of the time, we blend recognition with other topics—make this special and consistent. – Bryan Powell, Executive Coaching Space

6. Give Extra Time Off Or Have A Holiday Potluck

You don’t need money or lavish gifts to show that you care as a leader. People want to know they are appreciated. Maybe it’s through extra time given to spend time with family, or maybe it’s with a fun holiday potluck with an office gift exchange. The meaning behind the gesture or gift always means more than the physical gift itself. – Melanie Towey, Melanie Anne, LLC

7. Create Something Lasting Together For A Nonprofit

I remember putting together a small, end-of-year gala for a nonprofit group that I supported. It took all of my small staff and a lot of friends. We got others to contribute time, space and a little bit of money. It became a pain but also a true labor of love that everyone still talks about today, years later, as something impactful and positive. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.

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