Saying “Thank you” comes easily. Indeed, you say it multiple times a day, out of politeness, as a reflex and sometimes as a convention. You sign your emails by thanking people, and people thank you in turn. Socially, saying “Thank you” is the norm in person and virtually. But an “automatic” thank-you makes little difference in someone’s life. No automatic thank-you can convey genuine gratitude to a loved one who has given you good advice or a colleague who has rendered you a valuable service. An automatic thank-you is within everyone’s reach. It’s so commonplace that if you don’t pay attention to it, you almost forget that you are saying it. An automatic thank-you has no impact, but true gratitude does. Gratitude is a conscious expression that speaks volumes because you choose to invest the time and energy to show someone why and how much you appreciate them. At Niché, we understand that it’s not the intention that counts; it’s the effect.

Like you, we believe that the holiday season is a special time to thank each person in your team, a true gratitude-filled thank-you for all the work they accomplished in the past year. Usually, all team members come together in the same space to share a toast. But 2020 is a very different kind of year that’s pushing our boundaries and inviting us to review how we celebrate. With social distancing de rigueur, how can you plan a holiday event worthy of your inventiveness?

Start by focusing on each of your employees

The loyal people on your team are not only committed to your company but have also gotten to know it over time. They’ve noted your ways of doing things and apply them in their work. They innovate when they can and are proud to be part of your team. Letting them know that you too are committed to them by offering them a gift or a unique or personalized moment is a mark of recognition that won’t go unnoticed, especially in these challenging times. According to a study by Susan Hazelton¹ published in 2014, an employee who experiences a negative emotion needs to feel three positive emotions to regain their footing at work. What generates positive emotions? New experiences and gestures of gratitude.

Today, we are sharing 4 tips to help you create a positive emotional imprint on your employees by converting your gratitude into a series of personalized gestures.

Tip #1: Decrease the mental stress of holiday preparations

We don’t yet know what the government’s recommendations will be regarding traditional holiday get-togethers, but we can already guess that they will require us to adapt. Relieve your employees of some of the stress and work associated with expensive and time-consuming holiday preparations. How? Surprise them with a small bonus or an unexpected break. Imagine telling your project manager who’s just sat down in front of her screen to start her regular day of teleworking that she has a day off! You’re communicating more to her than just a thank-you. You’re making a concrete gesture that proves that you consider her well-being a priority.

Tip #2: Reward your team members with personalized gifts

Everyone likes to feel special. Show each member of your team that you appreciate them beyond their professional role by highlighting their personality traits. Consider writing them a handwritten message or giving them a gift that reflects their tastes instead of a generic item.

  • Niché recommends Kotmo, a company that offers a range of eco-friendly, customizable products. For instance, your employee who’s a foodie may enjoy a cutting board engraved with their name.
  • The BangBang design studio can also be a great ally: entrust their craftsmen with the creation of a tailor-made visual identity for each department of your company, and they’ll create a range of promotional items to offer as gifts, including these pretty fabric bags.

Are gift cards a good idea?

Absolutely! Match the right store to the right person, and the gift card instantly becomes personalized. A plant lover, for example, will always be happy to add a new greenery accent to their home thanks to a gift card redeemable at a greenhouse. In 2020, gift cards are also a fabulous way to support local businesses and products 100% made in Quebec. Why not consider giving your employees a Panier Bleu gift card. For gourmets on your team, Niché also recommends LOCAAL, a company that specializes in local, eco-friendly, ready-to-eat meals: their menu features seasonal Quebec ingredients prepared by a chef and delivered by bicycle or electric van.

Tip #3: Capitalize on opportunities in your employees’ homes

At Niché, events have been our focus for the past seven years; this remains true within the new social limitations 2020 has brought. While people can no longer get together outside their family units, the event needs to come to them. Whether it’s providing live entertainment in their living room, hosting games at a distance or serving up dinner for two, focus on what can be organized in your employees’ homes and remember to include their partners or families. Many artists now offer remote entertainment; imagine comedians, magicians or storytellers interacting live with the whole family. An inspiring conference or lecture can also be a good choice. By opting for private entertainment, you not only create a magical moment for your employees but also for the artists, who normally derive a significant portion of their annual income from holiday ticket sales.

Catering services are also usually very busy at this time of year. In 2020, they’re dealing with a reduced customer base. Be sure to keep them in mind when ordering tasty food for your employees and their families.

Looking for a meal and show combo? The Niché team can deliver a magical turnkey holiday moment. We can help you select menus, artists and the most appropriate presentation platforms for your 2020-style corporate celebration.

Tip #4: Shine a spotlight on your employer brand

Take this opportunity to remind everyone of your company’s values. Your employees will feel even more committed if you promote the reasons why they work for you. Our own team here at Niché is very transparent on this point: everything you read in this article tells you about Niché’s employer brand. We focus on the little things that enhance each person’s personality, we surround ourselves with a network of passionate and loyal partners to elevate our events, we advocate eco-responsibility and buying local, and we wrap it all up with our hallmark touch of refinement.

This year, fostering a sense of team spirit is essential since many teams are working remotely. The last few months have been emotionally charged, so your employees need to share a moment of joy. Why not organize a virtual auction where they can bid on prizes they like? For example, a colleague could walk away with a valuable bottle of champagne for half the price. The money raised could then be donated to a cause that is close to everyone’s heart!

The members of the Niché team – Andréanne, Élaine, Sofia, Camille, Maude-Laurence, Valérie, Arianne, Isabelle and Dania – are here to help you with your holiday preparations so that you can focus on what’s most important: your business. Whether you need help with logistics to send out gifts or create a virtual event end to end, email us! We’ll make sure to make your 2020 holiday season is memorable.

Oh, yeah! One last thing: Thank you for taking the time to read this article. And that’s not an automatic thank-you! With the plethora of content available on the web, you’ve invested a few minutes in ours. For that, we extend our warmest thanks. Take care. Until next time!

¹ HAZELTON, Susan. (2014), Positive emotions boost employee engagement: Making work fun brings individual and organizational success, Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 34-37.

Niché shortlisted for a Vivats 2020 eco-responsible event award

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