We got caught up in the holiday season last week too. But it's not too late to think about sending that last great thank you message and/or message of thanks.  So for our last weekly update of the year, we're reminding you to say thanks and check in on your employees end of year. A "how are you?" or a "thank you" when an employee least expects it is one of the most powerful tools in your manager tool box. This week (well, really a holdover from our holiday hangover last week), we remind you how to bring that cheer, thanks and appreciation as the year closes out.

1)  Make the Lost Week a Busy Week: Kick-Start Success for 2014  from SmallBizClub.com

"It's known as the "lost week"—the week in between Christmas and New Years. Unless you're in retail, chances are your business is almost dead during that week, so it's tempting to take the week off. Think again! Smart business owners are use this quiet time to get a jump start on the New Year, and you can too.  The challenges of running a small business are complex and time-consuming. It's rare you have time to stop and think about the direction your business is going. So instead of letting this quiet week slip by, make the most of it. Here's to a prosperous and successful New Year."

2) Bringing holiday cheer to employees on a bootstrap budget from Upstart Business Journal

"What is one creative way that startups can show appreciation to their employees around the holidays on a bootstrapper's budget?  Make dinner for the whole team. Have everyone arrive while the founders are putting the finishing touches on the meal. As team members are sipping their holiday beverages and mingling, they will see their leaders cooking and setting the table. At that moment most team members will feel cared for and appreciated."

3)  Recognizing your employees during the holidays from NorthFulton.com

 "Are you planning on doing something to show your employees that you really care about them?  Even though the holiday season is a busy time of year, small business owners shouldn't miss the opportunity to recognize and celebrate the achievements of their employees."

Susan LaMotte is the founder of exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to scale the right way.

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