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Thanksgiving is just around the corner; therefore, ’tis the season to show your employees just how much you appreciate all that they do for the business. Take the time to think about how you can show your employees that you are glad they are there.

Here are some examples of ways you can give back to your employees.

Catered lunch

You might be tempted to organize a potluck feast around Thanksgiving, but is this the best way to show that you appreciate your employees? Potlucks are easy because everyone brings in a small dish which creates a lot of options, but your employees are left doing all the work. If you can, a catered lunch with “thank you” themes can go a long way this time of year. It shows your employees that you are thankful that they are with your organization by feeding them!

Thank you gift bags

If you’re looking for an effective way to say thanks to your employees, it’s through gift bags. Fill the bag with candy, a company-branded pen, and a thank you note explaining just how much they mean to the company. You might even consider throwing in a gift card if your budget allows it.

A thank you message through your recognition program

If your company has a recognition program, the simplest way to tell your employees thank you is by sending a message directly to them through the solution. You could send one generic message out to your employees, but try and make it a little more personal. If your organization is simply too big to send a unique message to each individual employee, perhaps send a different message to each department or employment level. Think about how you can make the message mean the most, while still taking into consideration your business’s needs. If your budget allows, try sending a monetary reward along with the message. It’s never expected but always appreciated.

An employee mural with faces

Do you want to get a little more creative when it comes to showing your employees that they are important to the organization? Perhaps make a mural with your employees’ faces. Using their employee id photo, you can create your company’s logo or an important image to your company. This will last with your company for a while, so even if employees come and go, the idea that each face makes an impression and is used to create a whole picture can resonate with your employees. It shows your employees that you don’t see them as mindless workers who do work to make money, you see them a part of a whole.

A raffle for a few larger prizes

Can’t afford a personal gift for each employee? Open up a raffle for your employees, saying that you are so thankful for each employee, that everyone has an equal chance of winning an all-paid-for dinner cruise, or tickets to see a show. For a raffle, it is usually better to give out experiences instead of cash. While you can give a monetary reward through a gift card, it will be far more impactful with an experience where they can remember the company with fondness.

Have a high ranking executive visit each department to say thanks

Looking for something simple and easy to manage, that doesn’t require gift bags or monetary commitment? Have a high ranking executive visit each department and connect with the employees. The executive can impress upon the employees that they are valued and they are doing hard work. This gives a personal touch without having to write out something specific for each employee.

Add a few perks

An easy way to say thanks is to provide your employees with an extra PTO day or end the day a little early. Sometimes this is simply not possible, in the case of Healthcare of Hospitality industries, for example, but there’s always something small you can do that your employees will appreciate.

Employee Fun Day

Depending on your company’s atmosphere, a “fun day” could be very beneficial to show your employees that they matter, and increase engagement. Include decorations and free food to your employees, as well as small activities to do during their breaks. It’s almost like a party, but work still can get done. At the end of the day, spirits will be high and days like this will be remembered for years to come.

Award day

Have your employees nominate their peers for doing a good job. At a meeting, or through an announcement, call out those employees and read off the good they have done This shows your employees that you are listening for who is a top performer, and you are grateful that your employees are making such a contribution to the organization. If you have a cloud-based recognition program, your employees can nominate their peers at any point. When award day comes around, you can review and approve or print out awards easily! Add a monetary reward or place their nomination on a bulletin board in view for everyone to see. If you do this regularly, it encourages an atmosphere where your employees recognize each other for their good deeds, thus increasing engagement.