Thank your employees, or coworkers, 365 days a year. It seems like a simple thing to do. Find something – anything – one of your direct reports or coworkers has does well on the job and compliment them about it. After informally polling a random sampling of friends, coworkers and family members, I was not surprised to find the vast majority of people answered affirmatively that they do not do this. The most common response back to my informal poll was “I don’t compliment my coworkers 365 days a year, but I try to do this as often as possible.” While this is a good start, and with the impending holiday season is upon us, it got me thinking: how can we all thank the people we work for, and with, every single day of the year?
Below are some guidelines and suggestions you can use in your daily interactions to give thanks:
- Be genuine in your communication. There is nothing worse than receiving a compliment that you know or believe to be disingenuous. Put yourself in your colleagues’ shoes and tell them why you are thankful for their efforts. Be concise, yet specific enough so they understand the situation you are thanking them for.
- Find the right medium for communicating your message. There are various ways to communicate your message. You can do it in person, over the phone, thank you note, a token of appreciation (small gift), etc. Deciding the correct medium can be just as important as what you give to the person who is receiving the thank you.
- Find unique ways to thank people. There are plenty of ways to tell an associate how much their contributions have meant to the organization. Finding a unique way to tell a person how much their contribution has meant to the organization, and to you personally, will help that person understand the overall impact their contribution has had.
- You don’t have to show your appreciation with a monetary contribution. There are a variety of ways to show your appreciation to your colleagues beyond a cash incentive. You can do this by supporting their favorite community outreach program, cheering at a sporting event they participate in, providing a handwritten thank you note, giving kudos during a team meeting, giving your direct reports an extra vacation or PTO day, or a thank you video. Here is a link to an additional set of non-monetary ways of thanking your coworkers or direct reports.
As we just discussed, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to thank your coworkers. There are plenty of times throughout the day, week, month and year when we all receive less than positive feedback from our customers, suppliers, etc. Instead of celebrating, or giving thanks once a year or as often as possible, try telling your coworkers how much their efforts mean on a daily basis. That thanks, or showing of appreciation, can be the impetus your colleagues need to continue their efforts – big or small – to better the organization.