During the stressful holiday season, small business owners may want acknowledge their workers for their dedication and perseverance during one of the most difficult periods in retail operation. The holiday shopping arena is rife with competition, demand, frayed nerves and the balance of financial plans, as companies of all sizes vie to bring in enough revenue to balance out the fiscal year. On the other hand, these organizations must realize that their success rides on the backs of their front line workers, many of whom will be overwhelmed by the inundation of foot traffic. Finding ways to reward them can ensure ongoing retention, but not all gift strategies are a good idea.

DO say thank you, but don't just give a card. Saying thanks is one of the best ways of acknowledging a worker's effort, but more than words are needed after the stress of the holiday season.

DON'T give promotional items. A lot of businesses will be tempted to regift things they may have purchased as giveaways for customers, but this will only serve to show workers that companies didn't put any thought or effort into rewarding them, which can translate to lower engagement in the workplace.

DO give create bonuses. Instead of money or gift cards, Inc Magazine encouraged businesses to hand out fruit baskets, puzzle games and other presents that foster more critical thinking and healthy lifestyles.

•DON'T give a giftcard to a single business. Not everyone likes FYE or Best Buy, but the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that companies like Select-Your-Gift let employees pick what they want in terms of a personal reward. These tools allow staff members to go online and find the present they want most, as opposed to a uniform item that doesn't show interest in individual workers.

As this season is also a highly stressful one, it's best to avoid gifts that don't encourage healthy behaviors. Lottery tickets and alcohol are two items that should not be considered for the holiday grab bag. For financial fitness and employee well being, consider options that are in line with corporate culture and encourage ongoing positive behaviors.