The holiday time of year is when families gather, and employers offer Thanksgiving Thanks to Employees . It’s important that while we all focus on our families, we don’t leave our work families out.

The celebration of Thanksgiving reminds us to be thankful for what we have. We set aside some time to celebrate with our families and appreciate each other. It’s a wonderful tradition that holds great value in our society.

The Importance of Offering Thanksgiving Thanks to Employees

Thanksgiving is that one day every year when we focus on family instead of work. However, it’s important to recognize the importance of offering thanks to employees as well.

In this post, we explain the importance of offering thanks and gratitude to employees and the benefits of showing gratitude. Lastly, we give you some ideas for how to show gratitude to your employees this Thanksgiving season.

Defining Gratitude

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful. It also refers to someone’s readiness to show appreciation for kindness and to return kindness.

Many people associate the Thanksgiving holiday with remembering to be thankful for the things we have. We gather our families and friends around the dinner table and share a fabulous meal.

Oftentimes, we say a prayer or take turns sharing what we’re thankful for in our own lives. We use words like grateful, thankful, and gratitude when we describe our family, loved ones, and careers.

Millions of people around the U.S. share their gratitude on Thanksgiving Day. However, if you ask someone to define what gratitude is, you might find that they have a hard time.

Is it something we feel? Is it a behavior or action we take? Researchers who study the science of gratitude expanded the definition to include two things:

  1. Recognizing a positive outcome
  2. Recognizing an external source for this positive outcome

True gratitude requires us to be thankful for the actions or interventions of someone outside ourselves. On a metaphorical level, this gratitude relates to several things.

In the workplace, our gratitude belongs to our coworkers, employees, and team members. Customers deserve some gratitude as well, but that’s a topic for another post.

Your team works hard all year long. They put in long hours, face down angry customers, and show up day after day to contribute to their company. Don’t you think that deserves some recognition and thanks?

The Science of Gratitude

Research shows that our brains release dopamine when we express gratitude. Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter that creates a natural high and positive emotions.

Giving and receiving gratitude are also linked to an increase in serotonin. Serotonin is sometimes called the “happiness chemical,” because it helps us feel relaxed and stabilizes our mood.

In another study, researchers found that being grateful isn’t enough. However, when we take actions to express gratitude, it stimulates our prefrontal cortex. Researchers link this part of the brain to learning and decision-making.

So, what does all this science mean? Simply, that giving and receiving gratitude makes us feel good. When we do something that feels good, it enforces a behavior that we want to repeat. Therefore, we are more likely to show gratitude in the future.

In essence, gratitude improves our mood, both when we give it and when we receive it from others. And research shows that being grateful and showing gratitude to those around us is a learned behavior. Showing gratitude leads to more gratitude!

Appreciation Benefits Employees

So, how does showing appreciation for our employees and team members affect our working environment? Let’s look at the numbers.

The number one reason people leave a job is that they feel underappreciated. Employees who don’t feel recognized often seek recognition somewhere else, even if that means changing jobs.

Studies show that over 50% of employees say they want more recognition from their immediate supervisor.

These statistics show that employees crave recognition and appreciation. Research shows that workers who receive these things from their employers are more engaged. They have less anxiety and are less stressed – two factors that often lead to burnout.

Appreciation Benefits Companies

The benefits of showing gratitude extend further than the individuals themselves. When employees receive appreciation and gratitude, they are more engaged and motivated. They work harder and get better results than employees who don’t get the same kind of appreciation.

Engaged employees deliver measurable benefits for a company. These benefits exist in many areas, including:

  • Increased productivity
  • Increased efficiency
  • Reduced turnover
  • More employee referrals
  • Increased revenue generation
  • Higher customer satisfaction scores
  • Increased return on investment

When employees receive thanks and gratitude from their supervisors, they get a morale boost. Positive attitudes trickle right down into the pockets of the company.

Ways to Offer Thanksgiving Thanks to Employees

How can companies offer genuine thanks to employees during the Thanksgiving thanks to employees holiday? First, remember that gratitude must happen all year long, and not just during the holiday season.

However, special occasions call for special attention. Thanksgiving thanks to employees events create excitement in the workplace. Everyone deserves a little bit of fun and relaxation. This list helps you find unique and creative ways to give thanks to your employees.

Write It Down

Being thankful for someone is great and telling them so is important. When we take the time to pen a personalized thank you note, it has more meaning. Use a holiday letterhead or design one yourself.

Include a message referencing the holiday. Add a personal note that thanks the employee by name and draws attention to the specific reasons you are grateful to that person.

Holiday Recognition Meeting

Many companies hold regular in-person meetings or conference calls as a way to share information and communicate. These meetings provide a perfect opportunity to give thanks to employees in a public setting. Receiving praise and recognition in front of peers is often very motivating.

Perhaps you can relay a general message of thanks to a department or project team. Better yet, set aside some time to recognize each team member for something special they contribute to the company.

Become a Video Star

Many companies take advantage of technology around the holiday season. Video editing programs make it easy to create a unique, fun video to share with employees as a way to bring some fun and laughter to the workplace. The video might feature company executives and managers.

You might choose a straightforward approach, adopting a serious and genuine tone while offering thanks to employees. But don’t be afraid to cut loose and have a bit of fun. Employees appreciate your willingness to laugh at yourself and will most likely laugh along with you.

Celebrate with a Day Off

Many companies close for business on Thanksgiving thanks to employees. If your industry revolves around service or retail, you might have no choice but to remain open on Turkey Day. If the option is feasible, consider giving employees a paid day off, or even a day where they can leave early.

If your company already offers paid time off for the holiday, throw in the day before or the day after as a perk. Many people enjoy shopping on Black Friday. A paid day off allows them to shop without worrying about scheduling time off.

Thanksgiving Is for Feasting!

What would Thanksgiving thanks to employees be without a little turkey? Employees always appreciate a free meal, and this holiday is the perfect time to provide it for them.

Scheduling a time where every employee sits down together might be difficult during a workday. Employees may be available for a celebration after working hours are over. Another option is to set up an area where employees can feast at their leisure.

Consider catering the meal and setting it up buffet style. Even a pot-luck-style meal where everyone brings a dish provides opportunities for fun and camaraderie.

Thankful for You Day/Week

A great way to celebrate your gratitude for employees is to dedicate a day to showing them how thankful you truly are. Provide treats and surprises, like doughnuts, coffee, or ice cream. Offer raffle prizes or free company swag. Or carve out some time to play a few team-building games.

What’s better than an Employee Appreciation Day? Employee Appreciation Week! Take advantage of the entire week surrounding the Thanksgiving thanks to employees holiday. Assign each day of the week an exciting event or activity.

Consider casual dress day, crazy sweater day, funny hat day, and more. While some of these things may strike you as childish, employees will appreciate a moment of levity and humor.


Gratitude is a powerful thing. It feels good to show gratitude and appreciation to people in our lives, and it feels good when people recognize our contributions as well. Gratitude in the workplace needs to be a year-round event.

Employees will appreciate your efforts to go above and beyond in honor of the Thanksgiving thanks to employees holiday.

Be thankful for what you have. Be thankful for your team. Tell them so, and they will reward you.