Some leaders have a lot of trouble showing appreciation. Sure, saying “thank you” is good, but a great leader will “wow” their employees with their acts of gratitude. After all, leaders are one of the biggest influencers behind whether or not an employee will be engaged at work.
So what can leaders do beyond the obvious “thank yous” and pats on the back? Here are 11 great ideas to show employees you truly appreciate what they do for you and for the organization.
Surprise them with coffee
A dead-simple way to show employees that you’re even thinking about how much you appreciate them while you’re on your way to the office. Coffee solves all.
Arrange for a higher-up to stop by and say “thanks” for great work done on a particular project
I love this one. A thank you from your manager is good, but a thank you from your manager’s manager really helps illustrate the employee’s impact on the greater organization.
Feature your employee’s success in a work newsletter or internal email
And while you’re showing off your employee’s success to the higher-ups, why not go even further and recognize their hard work in a company-wide communication? Who knows, it might even lead to even more kudos from around the organization!
Give a goofy gift with a note recognizing an achievement, and encourage them to pay it forward
Think something like a funny plush toy or a bobblehead. Maybe give it a funny name, like “Appreciation Aardvark” or “Gratitude Gary” and turn it into a game! I love how this encourages employee appreciation to spread.
Tell your employee about one thing you learned from them, and how you'll apply it
Your employee might not fully understand the value they bring to the team, so telling them something new you’ve learned from them is a great way to demonstrate their expertise to them. What we’re good at isn’t always obvious to us, so help your employees see it for themselves.
Invite your employee to discuss your own challenging project
This is great because it’s a manager’s way of saying “I don’t know all the answers, and I recognize that your smarts are valuable.”
Invite your team out to lunch and talk shop
Sometimes, getting your employees outside the four walls of the office and having more candid conversations about work is the way to show your employees that you trust and appreciate their thoughts and opinions. Also, pizza.
Send a letter of appreciation to their family
When someone has put in long hours at work to get a big project done, send a letter home to the family to show your appreciation.
Set up a brag wall
Give your employees an outlet to show off! Make them feel proud of their contributions.
Decorate their workstation
Balloons, streamers, gift wrap, wherever your imagination takes you! Just be sure to pick decorations that are easy to clean up.
Maybe don’t use a kitten though. People in your workplace may have allergies.
Ask them for their feedback
Employees are often reticent to share upward feedback, which is understandable. Show employees that they can confide in you and that you appreciate their input. How? Well, it may seem a little obvious but it bears mentioning: Just ask for it!
How do you show your people your thanks?
Your turn: What are some creative ways you show people in your organization that you appreciate their knowledge and hard work? Let us know in the comments below.