With Thanksgiving just behind and Christmas popping up just ahead, it is most certainly the season to be thankful. The thankful focus, however, is often on our personal and home life. Neglect can fall on giving thanks in our professional circles during this joyous time of year.
But when we step back for a moment to look at the people who support us in our careers – whether it’s daily, monthly, or even a one-time-only situation, we can find plenty of people to share some gratitude with. There are so many ways in which we are supported on our career path as both employees and entrepreneurs and we think it’s time to make sure a big thank you is heard!
Why does gratitude matter in the workplace?
Gratitude is commonly defined as the appreciation of things that are valuable or meaningful to you. When we strive to have an attitude of gratefulness, studies show that you feel more positive, are in better health, and can build stronger relationships with those around you and are better equipped to deal with adversity. These are all traits and aspects of life that are essential to develop positively within the workplace. A study by The University of Warwick found that happy workers are 12% more productive than their not-so-happy colleagues
What does that little nugget of information do for you? It helps you understand how far your thank you can go. Expressing your gratitude to someone in the workplace for anything – from the person who took time out of their day to meet with you to talk about what their company is like, to the admin assistant who offered to file papers for you, to the senior team member who gives you advice – has a positive impact on how they perform on the job. Crazy, huh?
These are our favourite three ways to say Thank You in the workplace.
A handwritten thank you note or card
Emails are speedy and the norm, but taking the time to actually write out a thank you note or pick out a card shows the effort you put into your thanks. It doesn’t have to be lengthy or deep, it can simply say thank you. Just make sure you include what it is you are thankful for! You can deliver it to them at their workspace in person or drop it off when they aren’t there so it’s a nice surprise.
Buy them a thanks-for-that coffee or lunch
Everyone loves a little something in their tummy. If you know someone’s beverage of choice, bring them a coffee or tea in the morning or maybe even that special treat you know they like. It’s going to bring a smile to their face and every taste of that little something you brought them is going to be all the sweeter because they know it was given to them in kindness as a reflection of their own good deed.
The shout-out of thanks
You need to know your intended audience for this one and make sure they are comfortable with the public shout-out (or even internal office shout-out), but a wider announcement of how thankful you are for someone else’s efforts is a great way to show your appreciation. Chances are likely there are others around who have benefited from the help of this person and it’s a great reminder for them to step up and say thanks as well. You can write a LinkedIn post, send an inter-office email, or make an announcement at a meeting. You pick! But be sure you won’t cause the person embarrassment or anxiety if you know they don’t enjoy the limelight.
Most people are helpful to you in your career because they want you to succeed. We’re a surprisingly kind bunch, us people! There is no harm in letting someone know how much you appreciate how their efforts impact you. Knowing that someone has your back at work can give you the courage to try new things, apply for that promotion, and try to spread your proverbial wings. Saying thanks has a two-fold effect. It’s good for you and it’s good for the recipient!
Tomorrow when you stroll into the office…find one person you can say thank you to!