Thank You Isn’t Enough: 10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Coworkers

Coworker appreciation
Coworker appreciation

It takes a team to run a successful business. And that team deserves thanks and appreciation.

Not only do they deserve it, in some cases they need it to stick around and keep the business growing.

But a simple “thank you” from time to time isn’t nearly enough to make employees feel appreciated. They can get that from just about any business in the world.

So how can you make them truly feel appreciated and cared for? We’ll walk you through 10 creative ways you can show appreciation to your employees and coworkers.

Employee Appreciation Basics

Appreciating your employees helps your coworkers feel valued and cared for. But the benefits go far beyond some good feelings.

A study by Achievers shows that 44% of employees switch jobs because they feel that they are not recognised for their efforts. And business productivity increases by 31% when employees are happy.

So appreciating your employees helps you to retain top talent and improve productivity. 

That makes employee appreciation a no-brainer, but how do you do it professionally?

  • Be fair. Unless it’s obviously deserved, avoid preferential treatment.
  • Show appreciation consistently and regularly. Don’t save it for “special” occasions only.
  • Vary how you show appreciation. Only ever writing thank you notes could get stale over time.

10 Ways to Show Appreciation to Your Coworkers

1. A Well Crafted Thank You Note

Thank you notes might seem a little bit bland or boring. But when they’re handwritten and personal, they can be very beneficial. Standard greeting cards won’t cut it. Get some stationary, grab a pen, and spend a few minutes writing a thoughtful note. It will go a long way.

2. Public Praise

Not everyone loves public recognition, but some thrive on it. If you’re happy with an employee’s work, praise them in public! You can do it in a teamwide meeting or even in a public Slack channel. This will go a long way – especially for those who really crave public recognition.

But be careful with coworkers who obviously hate the spotlight. Consider keeping their praise private!

3. Employee Appreciation Gifts

Everyone loves a good gift! Unlike a note or public praise, a gift (especially if it’s a useful one) keeps on giving. Employees appreciate it when they receive it and are reminded of your appreciation when they use it!

You could gift your entire team corporate gifts or giving personalised gifts to individuals who have really gone above and beyond.

Consider a useful gadget for the office or stylish apparel.

4. Celebrate Milestones

One way to really help employees and coworkers feel appreciated is by celebrating their milestones. Not only does it help them feel valued for their hard work, it’s also a really nice employee perk for them to look forward to.

Here are some popular milestones to think about celebrating and some ideas for each:

  • 1 Year Work Anniversary: No need to go all out here. A nice note with a goody bag is probably plenty.
  • 3 Year Work Anniversary: Three years is a big deal. Depending on the size of your team, you could do a small office party along with a personalised gift.
  • 5 Year Work Anniversary: This milestone definitely deserves a party on the office’s dime and a high quality gift, too.

5. Offer Time Off

One of the best ways to show appreciation for an employee’s hard work is to give them time off of work. PTO is like gold for most employees. They already get some holidays and time off, but show them you really care about them (and not just their production) by letting them take a few days off. 

You can work additional PTO into milestones with the company or give it out for a job well done.

6. Cater Lunch or Breakfast

Who doesn’t love free food? Bring in breakfast or pizza for lunch to let your team know you value their hard work. Not only does it show your team appreciation, but it brings your office together and strengthens relationships. It’s a show of thanks and a team builder.

7. Hand Out Awards

Create office-wide awards for different achievements that really move the company forward. For example, you could create an award program where employees can recognize their coworkers for going above and beyond. Once an employee has been recognized 5 times, they get a designated award!

You could also do something more traditional like “Employee of the Month” or “Highest Sales of the Quarter.” Whatever you do, try to drum up enthusiasm around the award so that it’s an honour to receive.

8. Listen to Them and Invite Feedback

There’s nothing fancy or special about this. It doesn’t involve gifts or confetti. 

Simply listening to your employee’s ideas and asking them for feedback can go a really long way. You can set up office hours where you invite employees to chat with you or ask for feedback during one-on-ones – but ideally this is something ingrained in your culture. Being open and transparent is a great way to make your employees feel valued.

9. Offer Training and Professional Development

When you commit to investing in your employees’ long term growth and success, they appreciate it. It’s one thing to give them access to professional development tools or softwares, but it’s another thing to really encourage it and give them time off to grow.

Schedule conferences for them to attend, grant them time off for development, and make sure they know you really care about their long term success – not just what they do while they’re with your company. It makes all the difference.

10. Support Causes They Believe In

Most of your employees likely support a nonprofit that’s trying to make the world a better place. If it aligns with your values, why not support it as well?

When you give to nonprofits and organisations on behalf of your employees – everyone wins. You’re investing in the community, positioning your business in a good light, and making your employees feel special. 

Show Your Employees Genuine Appreciation

However you choose to appreciate your employees and coworkers, do it genuinely. Most employees can easily sniff out an obvious attempt to keep them around or recognition that merely checks a box. 

Your employees make or break your company. Show them appreciation for their work.