What better time to lift everyone's spirits? The solution may be better than a Navy medal and it is simple and free. It's far more personal. And it works.
What is it? A personal note. Send personal notes of thanks to the people on your team telling them specifically what you value about each of them as Shipmates.
Tell them about something they've done that they might not know that you even notice. Don't have your staff prepare form letters. Take the time to send a hand-written note. An e-mail won't do in this case.
If you're a Flag Staff Action Officer, you could ask the Chief of Staff to send a letter to your team acknowledging their contributions.
Many of our best Flag Officers are well-known for their hand-written notes.
You can be sure the recipients will treasure the notes because they are completely unexpected.
End the year on a positive note (or many of them). Tell your team "THANK YOU" with a personal note. They'll feel better. And, so will you.