We Asked, You Answered: Gratitude in the Workplace

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, gratitude is top of mind for many. Here’s a look at how our readers say and show thanks to those they work with.

Staff want to feel valued and appreciated for all the work they do and expressing thanks and gratitude to them is one way to do that.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving in the U.S. later this week, we asked readers to share how they say thanks in the workplace. From handwritten notes to virtual kudos and shoutouts, to unexpected days off and gift cards, read on for gratitude ideas from your colleagues.

Gennith Johnson

Chief Engagement Officer, Council for Exceptional Children

I often show gratitude with handwritten notes and gift cards for coffee or lunch out. We also have a dedicated kudos channel on Microsoft Teams where we can give a shoutout and share our favorite GIFs.

Cindy Simpson

Corporate Relations Specialist, Urgent Care Association

At UCA, it’s the little things that make a difference. Understanding when there is an illness in the family that may necessitate a flexible schedule. Sending small tokens of appreciation to the staff. Providing an unexpected day off in recognition of everyone’s hard work. Showing gratitude is not only expressed by leadership; it also is expressed by each of us.

Kelly Calley

Chief of Staff, Council of Multiple Listing Services

Somewhere along the line, we forgot common courtesy—thank you, excuse me, etc. It begins there. Then, be honest and specific with your thanks: call out exactly why you’re grateful for the person or for what they did. Be public when it makes sense, but a simple note will often do. People don’t need extravagance; they just need a boost and to know someone noticed.

Stephen Gold

President, Manufacturers Alliance

When we were in the office (we are now virtual), we had buckets of “gratitude river rocks,” and staff would drop one off on the desk of a colleague whom they were grateful for. Today, we do kudos during our monthly staff meetings: everyone who wants to thank someone has the opportunity to provide one name (or more) and the reason for their gratitude. We receive so many each month that it takes five minutes to review them all.

Danielle Cade

Executive Association Administrator, Association Connection

I have a little notepad called “You’re Awesome” that allows you to check off reasons why and gives two lines to add in extra info. It looks like a phone message pad, and everyone gets a kick out of it. It takes zero effort, and most employees keep the notes.

Ellen Kim

Founder and Creative Director, GRAPHEK

Make notes throughout the year as they share what they like or want, and surprise them during Thanksgiving when they least expect it. It doesn’t have to be big; it’s thoughtfulness that goes a long way.

Bob Waller

President/CEO, Association Headquarters

We express our appreciation on a continual basis in many ways. During our monthly all-staff meetings, we do “shoutouts” where we recognize individual staff members for going above and beyond in support of our clients. Another example is we bestow “Employee of the Quarter” to a staffer for their outstanding support of clients and colleagues.

(MicroStockHub/iStock/Getty Images)

Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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