10 Ideas to Give Thanks at Work

By Rob Nikkel
November 23, 2018
4 min read
10 Ideas to Give Thanks at Work (7)

Research shows that employees are more satisfied at work when they feel appreciated. Use these 10 ideas to give thanks at work!

In our fast-paced work lives these days, it’s too easy to move from task to task and not take the time to celebrate the small wins along the way. To succeed, we are incredibly reliant on those around us, so it’s vital we recognize and nurture our teammates to show we care, creating long-lasting relationships. Thanksgiving shouldn’t be a “once-a-year” thing only practiced at home, but rather a ritual we design into how we work and conduct our daily lives. Here are ten proven, simple ways to express your gratitude to a colleague!

1. A simple post-it note

A simple, hand-written note to a colleague recognizing them for a job well done can go a long way. You’re not limited to a yellow square here, either. Get creative, source high-5s, thumbs up or fun designs, write a quick message and draw something – even a simple smiley or goofy illustration does the job!

We have a gratitude tree where we post thank-yous:

2. Get them a coffee or tea

Discover their tastes and preferred timing: is it Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Tim Hortons? Or is caffeine not their choice? Once you know, you can surprise them just when they need it.

We have a variety of coffee and tea drinkers here at Intranet Connections, so a good cup of whatever we prefer is always appreciated!

3. A card or small gift with a hand-written message

It’s not often we get cards anymore, so sourcing a relevant card and writing something meaningful is appreciated. You know it’s well received when you see it standing on their desk for any length of time. The more people you get to write in it, the longer the shelf life

4. Online recognition on your intranet

Technology can certainly help employee recognition and your intranet is an ideal place. Why not post a message, include a photo if you can and acknowledge it to the masses? Enable social elements and people can like or comment too: now we’re boosting things!

5. A talisman awarded for exemplary behavior

There are all sorts of options here: attendance awards, employee of the month placards, trophies or other objects.

We’ve had some fun and passed around an Olaf doll from Disney’s “Frozen” as a figure who embodies empathy, one of our core values, to a teammate who has exhibited this trait.

6. Celebrate work milestones

Celebrate employees work related milestones, such as work anniversaries. This is an easy one. LinkedIn members know that work anniversaries are highlighted for their connections to see, and it’s a simple gesture to give congrats. Your intranet can highlight this too, where you can post to their wall. Announce the milestone in person and make it a long weekend for them by giving them the day of their anniversary off!

7. Contests for prize giveaways

Several of our clients have built apps and widgets to promote ticket draws. You could even connect this to a recognition app and have the intranet randomly pull a nominee to win.

8. Fun, personal experience in conjunction with business travel

All work and no play makes Kelly a dull person. How about supporting your employees in extending a work trip with some personal time and organize an activity: outdoor adventure, food, show, or whatever you know will interest them.

Just recently, we went up to Whistler, BC, as a company for a strategy session. But that wasn’t without some fun ziplining first! These types of activities give thanks and are great ways to team build.

9. Appreciation lunch

Often it’s more than an individual that merits your thanks. A catered lunch is hard to pass up. Add a fun game or prize and watch the meeting acceptances roll in.

10. Casual, Beer Fridays

Perhaps one of the oldest gestures, pour ‘em a drink, and say cheers to you! After a long week, serve up a refreshment and encourage a relaxed state of mind. With the stress relief, often here’s where the best conversations come. We support a nearby, new craft brewery, Hearthstone Brewery which is a great way also of supporting the local community.

What Gets Recognized Gets Repeated

As you can see, it’s not that difficult and I can assure you the energy spent will come back double what you put in, and expand in the company. You don’t have to do them all each week, but rotating around and using your imagination will keep it fresh and interesting too.

As an update from a previous blog, where I mentioned a Gratitude Tree as a source of workplace happiness, I thought I’d share a new photo. A month later and we’ve collected nearly 90 thank you notes from 18 staff covering a lot of great activity in the organization. We’re well on our way to the goal of 200 by the end of the year, and it’s amazing to witness it’s development.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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By Rob Nikkel

Rob Nikkel is the CEO and fearless leader of IC Thrive. With 18 years’ experience in software development, he specializes in developing holistic product strategies. A self-described culture leader, Rob is passionate about creating thriving working environments and shaping the company through engaging employee experiences.

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