30 Sep 8 Ways to Say Thank You
And Stay Connected to Clients and Employees During COVID
How do we stay connected and say thank you to those important people in our business world during a pandemic? What is a safe and healthy way to stay connected and keep everyone’s comfort level and spirits high?
One of the big challenges I have right now, as a people person, is that I don’t have the normal opportunity to get to know people better. Generally, when you spend relaxing downtime or even ‘down moments’ with your business clan, you slowly get to know the little details, like where they were born, their favorite foods, stories about childhood, or any allergies – more of their life story that makes them who they are. This information is huge because the more you know someone, the more you are able to support them and give them what they need in business and in life. In this time of disconnect it is even more critical to reach out to people to get to know them and it is hugely important to thank them for what they do and what they have done.
Creativity is the best way to manage this challenge. The goal is to send a moment of joy to someone in a decidedly uncertain time.
Saying ‘Thank You’ to Remote Employees
1. Camera-Free Week
For the employee with a great work ethic and a lack of AM pizazz: Do you have a zoom meeting every morning at 9 am? Give that employee a camera-free week when they do something big or just consistently have strong performance. This means they are allowed to attend staff meetings sans camera… no one will ever know if they woke up 5 minutes before the meeting. And as long as they are on top of their game mentally… who cares?
2. Support a Cause of Theirs
One of the best parts about working with a team, is getting to know who they each are as people, not just coworkers. A huge part of that is learning about what they care about. A great way to thank an employee for their hard work and show them that you really do know and care about them, is to make a donation to a cause that they care about. Plus, you get to make a positive impact in the community as well!
3. Virtual Recipe Exchange
If you’re anything like me and my team, you are really missing periodic lunch dates. A time to chat, eat good food, and get to know each other better outside of an office setting. Nothing can replace that in-person interaction, but there are definitely things that can help! Try starting up a recipe exchange among the members of your team. Have everyone put in a favorite recipe (or four!) and compile them all into one place so that everyone has access. Make sure the recipe titles include the name of the employee who submitted them. Encourage employees to submit a variety of types of recipes: someone might want to include their favorite chicken dish, while someone else may have a particularly delicious side to share, and someone else, a delectable dessert.
Pick a week where every team member picks a recipe and makes it for dinner (or dessert). They can critique it, offer any suggestions for things they did, or would do, differently, and rate it on ease of use. Everyone can show a photo of the dish they made at a Zoom lunch the following day. Team members do not all have to make meals on the same night, but it’s sort of a fun way to get people to connect from afar. Often food, from favorites to family recipes, is the best way to get to know someone. And you get to provide some levity to your team’s interactions!
4. Incorporate Some Fun and Team Building
Do you want to say thank you to your team AND continue to promote unity and joy? Try out Elfster to painlessly facilitate a fun gift exchange (think Secret Santa on steroids)! This platform takes all of the challenge and messy logistics out of the process, leaving only the joy! You can start one up in November for a mini $10 employee gift exchange. During a pandemic, Christmas should come at least three times a year, shouldn’t it?
Saying ‘Thank You’ to a Great Client
1. Send a Handwritten Note
An oldie but a goodie, so to speak. You can never go wrong taking the time to let someone know that you appreciate them and your connection to them, in writing. A handwritten note is always well received. Make it thoughtful and short and get some great stamps at the post office (or online at USPS.com) to give the envelope a kick!
2. Get Silly and Creative
Did your client or that sale give you exactly what you needed at the right time? Consider sending an Umbrella with a note in explanation (like, they saved you from the storm, get it?) Yes, it’s cheesy and a little silly but it’s also memorable! And being remembered by a client is always worth the effort! It also creates a great follow-up opportunity during the rainy season. I bet any time your client grabs that umbrella when they run out the door, they’ll think of you and your company and chuckle.
3. Don’t Forget Their Pets!
Do you know your client’s fur baby? If you have a client that loves their pet(s), ask for a picture and then make that photo into a greeting card to send back to them. The personalization is meaningful and you just spent less than $6 for something they will likely keep for years to come.
4. Celebrate the Crises Averted
Did you make a mistake with a client but then save the day (and the deal) in the end? Depending on how comfortable you are with them, send a small, cheeky gift to acknowledge the error, but more importantly, the recovery! This Magic Balm and these Magic Erasers are useful and bound to put a grin on your client’s face.
The world is weird right now! Working during these times is even weirder. Make sure you are letting your employees and your clients know that their work and partnerships are valued. And have some fun with it!