Giving Thanks All Year Long

Why do companies give thanks to their employees only one time a year?

It’s that time of year again when companies thank their employees for their contributions. Some do this by offering an additional day or two off during the holiday season while others throw fancy holiday parties at upscale hotels. That’s all fine and good, but what I would like to know is why giving thanks is only done once a year.


Organizations that thank their employees all year round do so by paying fair wages, when they are in a position to do so. These are the companies that have held their own through the recession and have continued to reward employees for their contributions, when they could have easily used the economy as an excuse for freezing wages or cutting salaries.

Companies that allow their employees to take time off when necessary, demonstrate their appreciation daily. They send the message that we trust you’ll be at work when you need to be. These same organizations have no problem getting employees to pitch in at a moment’s notice.

My favorite are the organizations that pay their employees well below market and then thank them for their efforts by providing them with large year-end bonuses that bring people up to market. Since many employees are thankful to have a job in this economy, many fail to recognize this bait and switch approach. I bet the owners are thankful about that.

There is a lot to be grateful for this holiday season and throughout the year. Let’s spread the cheer and give thanks daily and perhaps employees will cheerfully service your customers and clients in a way that makes you thankful to have them as part of your team all year long.

Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the forthcoming book, Suddenly in Charge! Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, January 2011). Visit Roberta’s Blog on the Generations at Work or her Linked-in Group Suddenly in Charge! Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta’s monthly newsletter, HR Matters

About the author

For more than 25 years, Roberta Chinsky Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy, New Balance, The Boston Beer Company and small to medium-size businesses, achieve dramatic growth and market leadership through the maximization of talent. She is known world-wide as “The Talent Maximizer®.” Roberta, a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty, is the author of the top-selling book, Suddenly In Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey, 2011), a Washington Post Top 5 Business Book For Leaders.