Category: Corporate Retreats

This Blog has been featured by the West Orange Chamber of Commerce. Sources such as HLN have also been home to publications by Dr. Farnaz Namin-Hedayati and she has been cited by the Orlando Business Journal



The holidays can certainly be a time of stress for employees who struggle to balance the workload with added holiday responsibilities. However, the holidays also offer a time to rejuvenate employees by celebrating and empowering them (since their happiness and performance are crucial to the bottom line). “Companies that effectively appreciate employee value enjoy a return on equity and assets more than tripled that experienced by firms that don’t. When looking at Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for, stock prices roses an average of 14% per year from 1998 to 2005, compared to 6% for the overall market” explains Dr. Noelle Nelson, Author of Make More Money By Making Your Employees Happy, when citing a Jackson Organization study. With that information in mind, here are some tips for showing appreciation to your employees this holiday season. From employee gift ideas to celebration possibilities, this list has it all.


Holiday Employee Appreciation Guide:

  1. Throw a holiday party
  2. Be flexible with holiday time off
  3. Schedule a fun team building event
  4. Offer unexpected holiday pay
  5. Verbally express gratitude
  6. Coordinate a Secret Santa gift exchange
  7. Give a gift card
  8. Take your employees to lunch
  9. Have an office decorating party
  10. Surprise the staff with breakfast
  11. Provide movie passes on a whim
  12. Empower employees with motivational behavior
  13. Inquire how you can lighten loads and delegate
  14. Offer a work from home day
  15. Surprise staff with a casual dress day
  16. Hold a cubicle decoration contest (provide small budget)
  17. Holiday card exchange
  18. Remember gift giving is not one size fits all
  19. Consult with HR to see what complaints you can help resolve
  20. Bring a gift basket for the office


Caroline Kennedy once said “Sharing the holiday with other people, and feeling that you’re giving of yourself, gets you past all the commercialism” (Forbes). If you lose focus on the people in your life, at home and at work, holidays lose their special touch for you and the people around you. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking your human capital that propels your company’s voyage to success on a daily basis. You wouldn’t want to end up with an ugly sweater in your stocking, would you?




Related Reads:

Can you hear me now?
Shrink Employee Turnover
Hermoine: Management or Leadership?


Photo Credit Office Photo: USFWS/Southeast
Photo Credit Ugly Sweater Grumpy: Pichado Photography


Center for Work Life of Orlando, Florida is an award-winning executive development firm providing leadership and management training to executives and organizations. Our main services include executive coachingleadership developmentexecutive succession planningemotional intelligence trainingcareer planningstaff development, and communication in the workplace.

Trust forms the foundation for higher levels of retention, productivity, performance and citizenship behavior which are the “above and beyond” behaviors that lead and contribute to organizational success.

According to a recent study by Center for Work Life conducted among more than 500 organizations large, medium and small, it was found that trust in the work place took a nosedive since 2009 and has continued to decline each year during the recession.

In 2012, barely a quarter of respondents indicated that they trust their leadership.  Although many employees are skeptical of their leaders, nearly three quarters report that they are very much inclined to trust their coworkers.


Together, these findings indicate that while the relationship between employee and employer lacks trust, employees have built trusting relationships together.  It is possible that several behaviors may help establish and maintain trust in peer-to-peer relationships more frequently.  These behaviors could include time spent, regular communication, and social interactions outside of the work schedule. The attached picture is a game we use during our teambuilding events at the center.

What can leaders take away from this?  Leaders can use some of these behaviors to build organizational trust such as:

  1. planning for events where there is “wiggle room” and casualness.
  2. Find opportunities to connect in a more deeper level
  3. Stay visible and exude approachability
  4. communicate in “everyday language”
  5. Show genuine interest in employees and their passions and interests


Whether a leaders or a performer, Buyer, or seller, trust is king, earn it and guard it with your life.


 Hiring Top Performing Teams on a Limited Budget

Unfortunately, the cutbacks at various companies have created the need for smaller number of employees doing the same amount of work in their organizations.  However, in order to be able to obtain the same effectiveness from the workforce, those employees are now increasingly encouraged to work in teams to collaborate and creatively share resources.  However, the question is, do these employees have the team player attitude and/or qualifications? At Center for Work Life, we recommend employers to assess for the team player dimension during the pre-employment phase.  According to a recent study conducted by the Gallup Corporation, within the thousands of teams studied, it was found that certain job applicants, once hired, had the ability to raise the engagement levels of their teams members, once dispatched to do team work at their positions.

There are four traits which are believed to be important factors in assessing employees in relationship to increasing team engagement among other employees:

vMobilization: The ability to mobilize people with decisiveness and genuine inclusiveness.

vClarity:  They reduce team members uncertainty by helping make clear the goal of the team and of each team member.

vRelationship:  They are more likely to help team members get things done, because their relationship with them is important.

vAffirmation:  These are people who have an optimism and enthusiasm that give others positive attitude.

By studying the individual employee engagement scores of each team member and the team as a whole, specialized organizations can help your company assess for the right talent which will dramatically affect your ROI in the employees you hire in the long run.  For example, our assessment tools are designed by corporate psychologists, who are specially trained in not only designing employment assessment tools, but also guiding and empowering the hired talent throughout their work-cycle, while employed at your organizations.  This tool, not only creates efficiency in the selection process, but also provides the employee a great reason to feel optimistic and engaged in their position and their organization.

Photo Credit: UBC Library Communications

Photo Credit: UBC Library Communications


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