I’ve always felt an energy shift around the office at this time of year. A little bit of lightness appears, people seem more relaxed, more playful. More themselves. Soon everyone will be heading out for a well deserved break from work. A time to re-energize and reconnect with relationships outside of work.

As a leader and manager it’s a great time to practice humility and appreciation. Evidence shows that spreading some gratitude has a big impact. And let’s be honest, your own success is carried by the work of your teams. Without them you literally wouldn’t be enjoying what you have today.

So before everyone disappears make a point of talking to every single person on your team. Thank them for their efforts, acknowledge the work they’ve put in, and tell them what you value about them. 

In the past I’ve walked around every desk, thanked each person for their specific work, shaken their hand, and requested they forget about work and enjoy the holiday. I also experimented with sending cards with similar handwritten messages. I was surprised to see some people keep those cards for multiple years. The point is to never underestimate the impact of a simple act of appreciation. People respect your position of authority regardless of how you feel about it. So own it, and be deliberate in using it to show appreciation.

So my challenge to you this week – will you find a novel way to express your appreciation to each and every member of your team (not just direct reports) this week?

Here’s how I might do it, keeping it specific and simple.

“Hey Megan. Thank you for all your efforts this year. I appreciate your persistence in landing the widget program. That was at complex project. I hope you have a great holiday,”