Ways In Which You Can Show Employees You Are Thankful


Organizational behaviour consultants will tell you that one of the best ways to motivate staff is through showing appreciation. Learning how to say thank you is the first step in building a good relationship with your employees, as well as ensuring employee loyalty is enhanced over the long term. To learn more about employee loyalty please read our blog post on ways to increase employee loyalty.

Employee engagement is a hot topic in the world of organizational behaviour. In fact, organizations with high levels of employee engagement have higher levels of customer satisfaction, profitability, and productivity

As an employer, it's essential to be honest with yourself about your staff's needs. The first and foremost way you should show employee appreciation is by paying them a living wage that properly aligns with the value they bring to your company.

In addition, your employees want to feel seen and heard and know that their contributions to the business are being acknowledged and feel meaningfully recognized. It's critical that you create a welcoming and diverse working environment while also encouraging your staff to grow their skills and presenting them with opportunities for advancement wherever possible.

Aside from these fundamentals that inspire job satisfaction and employee happiness, there are plenty of other fun ways to show appreciation to your team for their hard work, creativity, and commitment to the company’s success. Motivation for your employees is something that is key and having motivation strategies for your employees is vital for increasing their chances of staying.

Also read: 6 Employee Engagement Strategies

Table Of Contents


Offer Flexible Scheduling Options

More than ever, employees are seeing the value of flexibility in the workplace. They no longer want to be constantly putting in long, overtime hours at the expense of spending time with their loved ones or for themselves.

Flexibility in scheduling lets your employees feel valued and rewarded for their efforts and displays a sense of trust from management. Consider letting them form their own schedules in a way that optimizes their performance.

girl working


Celebrate Staff Birthdays

Something as simple as acknowledging everyone’s birthday is a nice way to show your appreciation for your team. Whether it's organizing a nice catered lunch, a potluck, or simply ordering a cake is enough to put a smile on everyone's face.

Be sure to keep every team member's birthday in your work calendar, so you don’t forget! Consider also offering a small gift as a token of appreciation as well.

birthday cake


Team Building Retreats

If your budget allows, consider organizing a paid team-building corporate retreat for your employees. Studies show that team-building experiences and wellness activities can improve relationships with colleagues, creativity, open dialogue, job satisfaction, employee retention, and employee productivity.

Getting to know each other away from the office and having a little fun in the process will show your employees you can learn not only about them as a unit but also about them individually.

team building


Offer Special Opportunities

Whether it’s an opportunity to learn a new skill, attend a seminar, or participate in an industry event, employees will appreciate it when you show interest in their professional employee development.

No employee wants to stay in the same position forever, and at times they may just need a little push to get them closer to achieving their career goals. Show them you’re thankful for their efforts by presenting the right opportunities at the right moment.


Go Public

Share your appreciation for your team beyond in-house recognition. Post all the exciting and praise-worthy things your staff is doing on social media and tag your employees (with their permission, of course).

It is important to publicly express how thankful you are for your team and their contributions to the business.


Do Something Unexpected

A little surprise can go a long way. Do something spontaneous for your staff that they will appreciate. Whether it’s a little treat, a shortened workday, or UberEats gift cards, employees respond well to surprise tokens of appreciation that are unexpected.



Track Team Wins

Like the big thermometers charities use to depict their gradual increase of donations, a visual representation of your team’s goals is a great way to inspire employer engagement. This helps to keep your team updated on their progress in a fun way.

Whether it’s a collective client-focused goal or some friendly in-house competition, reward employees for each milestone they make towards achieving their goal.



Offer Something Tasty

Whether you have a big budget to work with or not, everybody loves free food. Organize a nice office brunch, a surprise treat, or simply a pizza party to show your appreciation to your staff. Having a food truck come by is also a great way to take a little time out of the office.

Having them organize a potluck together is also a great way to explore your employees’ different cultures and get to know each other’s backgrounds on a deeper level. After all, one of the best ways we connect is through food!



Cheers from Peers

While showing your appreciation as a leader is essential, consider facilitating a space where your team honours each other as well.

Co-workers tend to be more aware of the day-to-day activities taking place. Allow them to each call out someone who they feel is doing amazing. This can help reinforce camaraderie in the workplace and create a more positive working environment.


Offer a Casual Day

If your office carries a strict dress code policy, consider offering a bonus casual day – aside from casual Fridays, of course!

You incorporate this in fun ways, such as free casual day coupons to use whenever they like or have employees contribute a dollar or two for a charity your office is partnering with in exchange for a casual day.

casual wear


Boss Day

Reward your high-performing team members for a chance to be the “boss” for the day. They obviously won’t get the keys to the kingdom, but access to office perks like a private office, a nice parking spot, etc can create an experience they’ll appreciate.

In addition, why not allow them to sit in on important meetings with you? This can give them a sense of trust from management and help them become more motivated to advance their careers.

boss at desk


Offer an Office “Trophy”

Whether or not it’s a literal trophy is up to you, but the truth is that employees respond well to having a tangible representation of their hard work. Pass your “trophy” around monthly to the highest performer to show your team they are being recognized for their significant milestones, hard work, and dedication, even if it’s something silly!


Refresh Your Break Room 

For some workplaces, the staff room can be a dismal, dingy room with a smelly microwave. Since this is a place to literally give your employees a much-needed break, show them you care by making it attractive.

Ensure all appliances are up to date and working properly and include some nice, comfortable furniture and some décor. In addition, you can make a fun exercise for your team to each create something nice like positive messages for your bulletin board.

Up the game a notch and offer charging stations, a small library filled with donated books, and anything else to allow your team to become fully refreshed!


Thank You Notes

Nothing says a quick “thank you” than Thank You notes. Whether it’s an actual handwritten note you place on the employee’s desk in the morning before everyone arrives in, or a fancier e-card they’ll find when they check their email, this is an excellent way to show your employee appreciation.

Avoid writing something generic, and always include a personal touch by recognizing employees or a specific contribution they made to the business.

thank you


Pet Days

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be able to show some appreciation to your more pet-centric employees by having a bring-your-pet-to-work day.

This will allow pet-lover colleagues to connect and non-pet owners to enjoy an encounter with a furry friend. Ensure none of your staff members have allergies to certain animals or offer them the day off if they wish.



Offer Charity Opportunities

A great way to show your team they care is to have everyone get involved with a charitable event or venture that’s close to them. Perhaps you have an employee who beat cancer or one with a loved one suffering from MS. Allow your team members to open up about the causes near and dear to them personally and organize an event to fundraise and create more awareness.

Not only will this let employees know you are concerned about their lives outside of work, but it will also show customers and business partners what you and your staff are going to make a positive impact on the community.

donation box


Suggestion Boxes

Not only are suggestion boxes a great way to get some honest feedback about the organization, but it also shows you care about our employees’ concerns and needs. It provides them with a safe avenue for anonymous communication, especially if they may not feel comfortable sharing outright.

Simply having a suggestion box present isn’t enough, though. Be sure to address their concerns and take action to improve the workplace culture in ways they can appreciate and that create a noticeable change.


Recognize Non-Work Achievements

Employee recognition can go beyond work activities. Every employee should have a life outside of their job. Show your appreciation by taking an interest in what your employees are doing for their communities as well as their own personal goals. Did someone just complete a 10k marathon? Perhaps someone makes art on the side or frequently does volunteer work.

Likely, these employees aren’t bragging about themselves and their personal accomplishments. This is where you can shine the light on them and show you’re proud to have them on your team. You never know; their personal achievements may just inspire others!


Employee Appreciation Day

Aside from the statutory holidays throughout the year, why not offer your employees their very own Employee Appreciation Day– just because! If your business permits, you can close up shop for the day and extend the offer to participate in a workplace get-together like a park barbeque on the lake.

The staff will appreciate this little Employee Appreciation Day holiday, while new team members will be in for a pleasant surprise.

high five


Offer Useful Benefits

Depending on how much autonomy you have, offering employees generous benefits that go beyond the standard employee benefits package can go a long way, especially for employees who may be struggling more than others.

Offering to take care of bus passes, parking fees, as well as discounts on certain retailers or services are enough to show employees you care about their needs.



Showing your employees that you trust them and their choices is one of the best ways to make them feel appreciated. Gift cards are great, but if a team member doesn’t feel like their ideas get taken seriously, or you seem to be constantly micro-managing them, the gift card is pretty pointless.

Think about how work gets distributed. Do employees get to choose the projects they work on, or are they always assigned tasks? Perhaps employees share ideas that never get implemented, or worse, they don’t receive any recognition or credit. Giving employees some autonomy in their roles is an excellent way to show appreciation.



Encourage employees to participate in mentoring programs and volunteer opportunities, starting with your senior level employees. This can carry forward the sense of trust you have in your team as well as create a model that allows them to give back.

Think about when you were an entry-level employee. Wouldn’t you have felt appreciated knowing your organization cares enough to offer mentorship and guidance in the days where you were just starting?

Showing employee appreciation isn’t just about the relationship between managers and their team members, but the overall work culture that cares about helping each other grow. Having a clear employee development plan can ensure that your employees' stay engaged and willing to stay at your company for longer.



Celebrate Anniversaries

Much like acknowledging birthdays, it’s important to celebrate work anniversaries as well. One study showed that employees are likely to leave their jobs after a year of employment. Millennials and Gen Z'ers, in particular, are more likely to move on from a job quickly than previous generations.

Therefore, it’s critical to celebrate employment anniversaries and reward them for staying. Acknowledge this personally and publicly in front of other employees to show your staff you appreciate their presence in the company.


Encourage Continuing Education

As we said earlier, no employee hopes to be in the same position year after year. An excellent way to say thank you is to show your support for their efforts to advance their careers.

Perhaps you can offer them free admission to informative webinars or allow them more flexibility for night classes. Acknowledge their growing qualifications and offer them higher-level accounts or promotions if possible.

Having this kind of open communication will also help you start the process of sourcing and grooming the new employee that will replace them as they go further in their careers. Show employee appreciation by offering them the opportunities they need to thrive.



When all else fails, the best thing you can do to say “thank you” to your employees is to ask! Survey employees and ask them what sort of things they might enjoy that help increase employee morale. You might have some ideas, but unfortunately, they may not always align with what your employees values the most.

This way, you’ll feel much more confident in rewarding them with things they’re bound to enjoy - whether it’s a specific kind of retreat, foods they like, or opportunities they’re missing out on.

Also read: 10 Employee Incentive Programs That Will Massively Engage Your Team


Say “Thank You”

While it’s true that actions speak louder than words, sometimes a simple “thank you” for doing a great job will suffice.

Some managers take the work their employees do for granted, thinking they’re just doing what’s expected of them. The truth is that no business could be sustainable without the employees. They’re the heart and soul of the entire organization, and sometimes, a little verbal acknowledgment goes a long way.

Say the words regularly, and you’re guaranteed to see a shift in the attitude of your workers in ways a gift card may not.


Final Thoughts

Employee appreciation shouldn’t be a one-day affair but something integral to the work culture that binds the organization. Still, you’ll find many organizations being client-focused, devoting little energy to recognize employees. 

Employee retention is something many employers are struggling with, and yet they don’t consider the simplest method to avoid it. Individuals across industries are affirming their worth and are less likely to tolerate a company culture that fails to acknowledge their efforts.

Employers can say “thank you” in a multitude of ways. The important thing is finding a way that fits your company culture and suits the individual employee as well. The more employee recognition becomes a habit, the more employees will become receptive and show better engagement.

It's well documented that pay is a key factor when it comes to showing employees that you are thankful. Having a payroll software that is efficient and can deliver a great payroll service to your business and its employees cannot be overlooked. Our paystub generator software can ensure that this side of the business is well taken care of.

Regardless of which option you choose, if you show true employee appreciation, it can undoubtedly help positively impact morale and company culture.  

Frequently Asked Questions

If not genuine or consistent, expressing gratitude could be perceived as insincere or manipulative, potentially harming trust and employee morale. Always be genuine and consistent in your expressions of appreciation.

Offering competitive salaries, comprehensive benefits packages, and performance-based bonuses or incentives demonstrates that you value your employees and their contributions to the company.

Foster open communication, encourage teamwork and collaboration, provide resources and tools for success, and maintain a clean and comfortable workspace.

You can recognize achievements through verbal praise, written commendations, awards, or acknowledgment in company meetings or newsletters.

Flexible work hours demonstrate trust and respect for employees' work-life balance, which can lead to increased job satisfaction and loyalty.

Regularly show appreciation, both informally and through structured recognition programs, to maintain high levels of morale and motivation.

Non-monetary ways include writing thank-you notes or emails, providing public recognition, offering extra time off, or creating a positive work environment.

Some ways to show appreciation include: recognizing their achievements, offering flexible work hours, providing opportunities for professional growth, and offering competitive compensation and benefits.

Offer training programs, workshops, or seminars, encourage participation in industry conferences, and provide opportunities for internal promotions or lateral moves within the company.

Showing gratitude to employees leads to increased job satisfaction, improved performance, and reduced turnover rates, all of which contribute to a more productive and successful business.
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Ways In Which You Can Show Employees You Are Thankful
James Wilson

After graduating from McCombs School of Business in Texas, James joined ThePayStubs as a CPA to make sure the numbers we provide our clients are correct. Read More

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