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5 Tips on How to Recognize Your Customer Service Teams at Thanksgiving

Around the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, there is no lack of content circulating on gratitude and thankfulness. From expressing gratitude for having our basic needs met to acknowledging what a blessing it is to have good health to showing appreciation for family and friends, this is the time of year to pause and reflect on what we have to be thankful for.

If you are fortunate to be a business owner, executive leader, or manager, you also have the opportunity to recognize your customer service teams who work hard every day to contribute to your company’s long-term success. 

Why is It Important to Recognize Your Teams?

If you think paying a salary and providing benefits is enough to maintain high employee morale, think again! As the business landscape is evolving from the Digital or Information Age (which is now a given in most sectors) to what is now known as the Social Age (which focuses more on social interactions, relationships, collaboration, and sharing)  employees are placing a much higher premium on employee recognition. In addition to a level of compensation that supports a sustainable lifestyle, a workplace culture that fosters internal customer service, inter-departmental connection, inclusion, and diversity are equally important.  By understanding what employees value most, you will create a workplace that attracts and retains the best talent.

Ways to Thank and Recognize Your Teams

Whether in person or virtual, there are many ways to show appreciation to your teams – everything from a simple Thank You card to a company-sponsored awards event. Here are a few suggestions on how to let your employees know how much they are valued.

  1. Thank You Gifts with Personalized Messages  – A gift card, corporate gift or gift basket accompanied by a personalized message that conveys how their work has contributed to the company’s vision will go far in making your staff feel appreciated.
  2. Plan Team-Building Activities – Sponsoring a team-building outing or retreat (budget permitting) that has fun indoor, outdoor, and/or virtual games – in addition to free food and drinks – will go far in letting teams know how much they are valued and appreciated. 
  3. Hold an Awards and Employee Recognition Ceremony – Recognizing a team member for their hard work, dedication, and creativity by publicly presenting them or their team with a trophy or award certificate is still one of the most important and meaningful gestures a company can make. 
  4. Set up a Coworker Recognition Program – In addition to recognition from a manager or owner, employees love receiving kudos from their co-workers. Not only does this encourage teamwork, but it also brings to light achievements or special qualities that managers may not be aware of. If some of your teams work remotely, one way to achieve this is by creating a virtual “Wall of Fame” on your website or by using a Kudo Board where everyone on the team – from top executives to coworkers – can leave a message. 
  5. Sponsor Professional Training and Personal Development Courses – A great way to thank an employee is to invest in their professional development. By paying for their  training – even giving them time off to complete it – you are demonstrating a long-term commitment to your working relationship. 
  6. Social Media Recognition – You can also take employee recognition to social media – especially on your LinkedIn company page. Consider having a social media  “Employee of the Month” program where you highlight an employee’s great work or service excellence. Tagging the recipient will attract attention and make your employee feel all the more special. An added benefit to social media recognition is that it will attract potential talent and impress customers who follow your business. They will see what a supportive and rewarding company culture you have!

We hope these suggestions have given you plenty of food for thought at Thanksgiving and throughout the year. It can’t be summed up better than with this quote:

“Recognize and affirm people when they contribute to the mission you share. Do this, and you will ignite their purpose and potential.”

– Mike Byam, Author of The WOW! Workplace

For those who celebrate, wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, with much to be thankful for at home, and at work!

Click on the button below to learn about our new employee engagement and recognition course with employee engagement expert Christopher Littlefield! We highly recommend this course for anyone in a leadership, supervisor, or HR management role!

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Customer Service Institute of America