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8 Effective Ways to Show Appreciation in the Workplace

thank you

In search of effective ways to show appreciation in the workplace, we've gathered eight insightful answers from professionals in the field, including HR managers and CEOs. From the power of a simple "Thank You" to the concept of daily temperature readings, these experts share their best practices. Dive into their wisdom to cultivate a more appreciative and positive work environment.

  • Remember the Power of a Simple "Thank You"
  • Be Specific with Praise
  • Opt for Public Appreciation Over One-on-One
  • Inquire About Achievements
  • Handwrite Notes
  • Cultivate a Culture of Thankfulness
  • Combine Genuine Acknowledgment and Impact Recognition
  • Take a Daily Temperature Reading 


Remember the Power of a Simple "Thank You"

It's easy to over-complicate things. A simple "thank you" lets employees or colleagues know their work hasn't gone unnoticed. It's so easy to get trapped into thinking you need to have lengthy conversations that sometimes you forget to just say thank you.

Ashlea Harwood, Associate Director (HR), Darwen Electrical Services Ltd


Be Specific with Praise

One of the most impactful ways to show verbal appreciation in the workplace is through "specific praise." Instead of offering a broad compliment like "good job," it's more meaningful to cover the specifics. 

For instance, after a team meeting, I might tell a colleague, "Your insights on the project's challenges were spot-on, and they greatly influenced our discussion's direction." Such detailed acknowledgment not only boosts one's morale but also encourages the kind of behavior you want to see more of. 

This approach supports a culture of genuine appreciation and motivates everyone to consistently give their best.

Bayu Prihandito, Psychology Expert, Life Coach, Founder, Life Architekture


Opt for Public Appreciation Over One-on-One

If you truly want to show appreciation for one of your colleagues or employees, I actually think you should not address the person directly. Instead, I believe the best way to show appreciation is to brag about the person, their accomplishments, and hard work during a team meeting or when gathering at the water cooler. 

Ultimately, I think that is more powerful than a simple "thank you" or "kudos" directed to the person in a one-on-one setting. The person in question will feel much more special, and the message will mean more to them since other people are involved.

Janelle Owens, Human Resources Director, Guide2Fluency


Inquire About Achievements

The best way to show verbal appreciation for the work someone does is by asking them how they achieved their results. 

A simple pat on the back and a token "well done" lift one's spirits for mere moments; it doesn't provide a lasting sense of appreciation. However, taking the time to understand how they did something highlights genuine interest, representing something far more meaningful. 

Even better would be to utilize these learnings and apply them elsewhere in the workplace. For example, if someone identifies a solution to a common problem, then incorporate this new approach into best practice, and always remember to reference the employee who solved it. 

This helps create a culture of learning and appreciation, reminding employees that their contributions truly matter and have lasting positive consequences.

Chloe Yarwood, HR Manager, Test Partnership


Handwrite Notes 

One powerful, yet overlooked, way to express verbal appreciation at work is through handwritten notes. In today's digital world, taking time to write a personal message stands out.

When a team member goes above and beyond or completes a big project, a short thank-you card highlighting their contributions can be penned. The personalized effort conveys gratitude better than an email or e-card.

Seeing their surprise and smile makes the extra minutes worthwhile. Notes boost morale and connection much more than a quick verbal acknowledgment ever could.

Leaders should never underestimate the motivational impact of old-fashioned appreciation. A few sentences, written sincerely in one's own hand, speak volumes. This simple practice has tremendously positive ripple effects on company culture.

Ankit Prakash, Founder, Sprout24


Cultivate a Culture of Thankfulness

There is no question that expressing gratitude aloud is the cornerstone of a happy workplace. A culture of thankfulness and acknowledgment can be woven into the fabric of an organization through the practice of publicly recognizing and appreciating individual efforts and team achievements during team events, presentations, or even just casual chats. 

In addition, showing appreciation for team members by taking the time to write them texts or emails not only demonstrates thoughtfulness but also reaffirms the importance that is put on each individual contributor. This, in turn, boosts the team's morale, stimulates collaborative synergy, and motivates them toward even greater accomplishments as a whole.

Hassan Sanders, CEO, Diabetic Insurance Solutions


Combine Genuine Acknowledgment and Impact Recognition

Acknowledging effort genuinely is paramount. I remember a time when one of our trainers went above and beyond, conducting an impromptu session for a group who had missed their scheduled class. 

Rather than a mere "thank you," I pulled him aside, looked him in the eyes, and expressed how his commitment not only reflected well on him but also uplifted our entire business's reputation. 

That personal touch, highlighting the ripple effect of his actions, seemed to resonate deeply with him. In that moment, it became clear to me that precise, heartfelt acknowledgment goes a long way in the workplace.

Taimur Khan, Operations Manager, AED TRAINING


Take a Daily Temperature Reading 

One effective way to show appreciation in the workplace is to get into the habit of regularly sharing clear and specific appreciations. Our organization utilizes what we call the "Daily Temperature Reading" as a meeting template. The Daily Temperature Reading starts with sharing appreciations. 

An example of a clear, specific appreciation is not, "Bob, you are a great coworker," but rather, "Bob, I really appreciate that you got me coffee last week when you knew I was running late and didn't have a chance to get coffee myself." Sharing specific appreciations increases a positive work environment and reduces feelings of burn-out.

Rachel Marmor, Chief Wellness and Resilience Officer, Purpose Built Families Foundation

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