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Thanksgiving Ideas: Showing Gratitude for Your AP Team

During this season of thanks, focus on one or more of these Thanksgiving ideas to express gratitude to your AP team and encourage an ongoing feeling of motivation and success.

For many people, Thanksgiving conjures up images of turkey and stuffing, a table spread with a cornucopia of food and drink, perhaps a football game playing softly in the background. Maybe you think of Pilgrims and Native Americans if you’re feeling nostalgic. But often, we forget the true spirit behind Thanksgiving – gratitude, and thankfulness. And those two themes could not be more relevant to the talented team supporting your AP process. Consider these Thanksgiving ideas to show your appreciation for the AP team. 

Ways to Thank Your AP Team

The thanks you give your accounts payable employees should go beyond the paycheck deposited into their bank accounts. And what better time of year to go the extra mile than the holidays, starting with Thanksgiving. If you want ways to make sure your AP team knows how much they’re valued, here are a few suggestions.

Put it in writing. You may think you tell your employees what you appreciate about them, but sharing those feelings often gets missed or unnoticed in the day-to-day procedures. What better way to share what you’re most thankful for about your employees than to make it a point to put into words the things you’re most appreciative of for each of your employees, then to share that with the business as a public display of gratitude and praise. Start with a list of all employees, then write in one short sentence what makes them essential to the business. Have the list printed on a poster and hung for all to see.

Organize an event. Whether it’s a party for employees and their families, or a smaller, catered lunch with a delicious dessert at the end, making a statement beyond the typical daily events to show appreciation can go a long way. After all, employees and their families are the support network for keeping the business up and running year-round, so a little thank you event sends the message that you appreciate the time and sacrifices they make as dedicated employees.

Foster appreciation within the team. While it’s still imperative that leaders show the accounts payable team how much they appreciate the work they do, it shouldn’t stop with appreciation from the top down. You can set up a system to encourage members of your team express the gratitude they feel for each other. Set up a jar for each team members and distribute slips of paper to the rest of the team, enough for each of the team members in the department. Have each staff member write a few words of appreciation (anonymous, if preferred) about each of their colleagues on the slips and drop them into that team member’s jar. At the end of the day, each team member takes home a jar of positive messages from their co-workers and feels the appreciation for what they do.

Motivating AP to Go the Extra Mile

Beyond the ways you show extra appreciation to your staff around the holidays, motivating the team to give 110% is a year-round process that takes consistent efforts from management and leaders.

In AP, in particular, there are many ways you can go about doing this. Research shows that not having a clear path for career progression is a leading driver of why your employees are less than satisfied at work and therefore unmotivated. If you want to keep the talented staff you hire, you need to invest in employees career development. Training AP staff on new financial systems and tools is a great way to do this. By leaving the mastery of a system in the hands of your staff, they become product owners to the rest of the organization and develop skills they can take with them as their career progresses. Skilling AP teams to interpret financial dashboard and think strategically is another excellent benefit with automation and a skill that makes them invaluable to the Controller and CFO.

Speaking of AP automation, investing in tools that make your employees lives easier is another key theme here and one of the best Thanksgiving ideas to express gratitude. How can you expect your AP team to feel motivated if they don’t have the tools to be successful in the first place? Investing in AP automation not only provides tangible value to your organization, but it makes the lives of your AP team much easier and frees up resources to become more goal-oriented towards strategic initiatives.

AP automation also drives a better work-life balance. Too often, month-end presents a time-burning, painful exercise for the AP staff, one that takes them away from their families beyond the traditional workday hours. Burning out your AP staff is a fast track to attrition and unhealthy employee morale. And with the advancements in mobile technology, most AP automation solutions allow for the flexibility of remote work when needed, so AP staff don’t need to spend hours in the office if they also face required responsibilities in their homes.

As you and your employees sit down to their Thanksgiving dinner tables this year, knowing that you’ve shared your appreciation – and that they know they are valued and respected – sets the tone for a highly motivated and successful AP team throughout the rest of the year.

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