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Thanks Giving: More Than a Concept — A Necessity
November 2005

HR Tips When Celebrating

  • If you’re having a holiday party, make sure to be inclusive of all. Celebrate diversity.
  • If you’re not the most creative celebrator, involve other people. There are typically a few people in every group who would love to set the stage.
  • Think of how you can transform your event into a team building experience, partnering different people in activities or contests.
  • Serving alcohol at your event? Let your employees know your expectations in advance. Be prepared with designated drivers or taxi services. Check with your liability insurer on our coverage.
  • Looking for a unique celebration idea? Tap into your network. There are lots of tried and true options.

How Arlene
Can Help

Give the gift of music.

One of the services Arlene offers through her SINGular Celebrations services is writing and performing custom song parodies to honor and celebrate individuals. She will write songs for individuals or entire teams of people. Arlene’s blend of heart and humor could be just what you need to add spark to your next special event.

Here are some quotes from happy celebrators:

“Thanks for making my son’s wedding engagement party so special. Putting their lives into song was awesome and something that they will cherish all their married life.”
LouAnne Reger, J&L Steel Erectors

“I was fortunate to be the recipient of one of Arlene Vernon’s custom crafted songs. Nothing could have commemorated my joining the practice better or made me feel more special!”
Dr. Trudy Bonvino, Reese Orthodontics

If you’re not
having fun
with your
human resources,
call Arlene today
at 952-996-0975

Creating Thankful Celebrations

There are so many directions I can take this important topic. Let me start by thanking each of my readers for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and perspectives with you through HRxaminer. If you are a client, I thank you for your trust. If you are a friend, I thank you for your support.

As business owners, managers, and employees, how are we showing thanks at our organizations? It sounds so simple, but it’s not.

In my training sessions on employee relations, communication and giving feedback, I regularly hear how some people struggle with recognizing the strengths, contributions, growth and success of their coworkers and employees. No news is good news to them.

There are others that are wonderful at complimenting the good work performed around them and help their people by identifying their weak areas to encourage their growth.

So where is the balance? Most of us will say, “That’s me!” I hope so. Wherever you fall on the continuum of thanking, let’s look at how we can do a better job in our workplaces as we plan to wrap up 2005.

Year-end is the perfect time to truly recognize our employees and coworkers. I challenge you to go beyond creating a holiday celebration just because it’s a holiday. It’s time to really recognize and celebrate the people, their contributions, and their successes.

Copyright © 2005 Arlene Vernon, HRx, Inc.

Going One Thank Beyond

Try this exercise:Make a list of all the people on your team in one column. In a second column, list all the contributions and successes each person has had this year. What made this year stand out for them? List their achievements, courses, degrees or certifications they acquired, projects they completed, sales they made, revenue they generated, customers they supported, etc.

In a third column, select 1-3 of their top accomplishments and determine how you can recognize, reward and celebrate these items.

If you’re having the usual “holiday” celebration, get more creative this year. How can you use the success list you created above to truly recognize and celebrate contributions? How can you honor and thank each person uniquely? Can you recognize people publicly for all to celebrate together? Can you create or select gifts that match their achievement? How can you involve everyone in the celebration? Can you create a setting where the celebrations are initiated by the team and not just by you?

In my college dorm (many many years ago) we did Secret Santa, giving gifts and clues to one member of the floor to keep them laughing and guessing. How about trying Secret Celebrations this year – with each employee receiving the name of a coworker and spending a week giving secret thanks for the contributions they made. Of course, somehow make it not so secret so that the achievements are ultimately celebrated as a team.

Move giving thanks to a new level at your organization!

Copyright © 2005 Arlene Vernon, HRx, Inc.

About Arlene Vernon

Arlene Vernon, PHR, partners with small businesses as their Human Resource Xpert to create their HR systems and solve their HR problems.

If you have gaps in your HR operation, have an employee problem to solve, or want to enhance your managers’ skills, call Arlene today. Learn
how HRx can save you time and help you avoid costly HR mistakes. HRx, Inc., 574 Prairie Center Drive #135/285, Eden Prairie, MN 55344, 952-996-0975,

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