Every day presents an opportunity for us to reflect and express appreciation to all the people with whom we have worked in the past and who continue to make a positive difference in our lives.
Here are a dozen meaningful ways to show gratitude in the workplace and let colleagues know they make a positive difference!
- Compliment your colleague where all can see (If you think it won’t embarrass them).
- Put a real card in a real mailbox for no particular reason to say, “Thinking of You.”
- Find out what’s special for the other person, (flowers, chocolate, gardening, etc.) and do something around that theme for them. Possibly, the gift of time is the best show of appreciation.
- Instead of an email, give personal handwritten notes of thanks or congratulations.
- Pass along positive comments from others.
- Sponsor his or her special cause or charity by making a donation in his/her name.
- Send birthday, Christmas, anniversary, and special-occasion cards to their home. Special occasions can include milestones or holidays most people don’t celebrate, but are important to that person.
- Give a small personal gift, uniquely appealing to their hobby or interest.
- Send reinforcing articles/books along with a note, “Thought you might find this of interest.”
- Send a complimentary email or thank you message to his or her immediate supervisor, department head, principal, or other person of influence and copy him or her.
- Recommend, suggest, or nominate the person to an organization or someone to whom they made a significant difference for a special presentation or award. This could be for an existing award or a suggestion for special recognition.
- Return a report, lesson plan, or email with complimentary margin notes or messages on the quality of their work or importance of their contribution.
Choose the best way you can recognize someone you know, spread the gratitude, and make someone’s day!
For more information about conflict education and caring communities, see Susan Fitzell’s book, Free The Children, Conflict Education for Strong and Peaceful Minds. Available in both print and electronic versions!