Do your employees feel heard or like they are part of the herd? Giving feedback is more than just correcting problem behaviour. Saying Thank You goes a long way in creating a positive environment and encouraging people who go the extra mile and make a difference in your business. It may sound obvious, but it’s an important thing that can go a long way.
During Exit Interviews and Employee Surveys, employees are usually asked if they received recognition for their accomplishments or contributions to the company. When reviewing employee answers, I’ve found that many employees report that they have not received so much as a pat on the back or any kind of thank you from their supervisor or the company. They have felt invisible or as part of a “herd.”
Your company may already have an employee recognition program, but how do we make sure your employees don’t feel like a manager is simply ticking off a box on their to-do list? (Think about that Holiday Card with just a manager’s signature with no individualized message. How did that make you feel?)
10 Ways to Say Thank You
Let’s look at some ideas that can make your employees feel great and appreciated which are meaningful to them and you!
- Saying “thank you” authentically! Pick out something specific that made you think: “that’s awesome!”. Be sure to reach out and communicate that to the employee. You can do it on the floor or have them pop by your office.
- Saying “thank you” in public! Do you have a morning huddle? Or say a monthly meeting with your team or everyone? Cheer them on!
- Saying “thank you” with a coffee! We haven’t run into anyone who doesn’t love a gift card, particularly for their favourite coffee or tea! (And make sure you learn which it is! Being seen is a thank you in itself.)
- Saying “thank you” as a teamI Give employees an opportunity to recognize their peers. Try a dropbox, messaging system, ask for shoutouts at your shift huddle or in your annual employee engagement survey!
- Saying “thank you” with timeI This is a big one! How about giving an employee a day off?
- Saying “thank you” with a giftI Gift a subscription box! (They are all the rage now, you can do anything from books to a grazing box, yummmm!)
- Saying “thank you” by refreshing the team spaceI Here is a team thank you-is your break room scuffed and tired? Are the chairs and fabric from the ‘80s? How about a break room redesign? Fresh paint or a feature wall with a mural, a new espresso machine and new chairs and voila!
- Saying “thank you” on socialI A shout-out on social media! Thank an individual or a team and share it widely. (See our Instagram account for examples of team profile posts)
- Saying “thank you” for loyaltyI Celebrate work anniversaries! A handwritten note (don’t forget how long!) and a shout-out at your team huddle or team messaging board gives everyone a chance to congratulate them!
- Saying “thank you” by seeing themI Say “great job” for non-work achievements (they completed a marathon, rescued a cat or volunteered at their local food bank!)
This list is in no way exhaustive. You may have had things that were a big success that are not on this list but you would love to continue. Let us know what Thank Yous that your employees have loved!
Janette McDonald is a senior HR Consultant at Nimbus HR Solutions. Janette is an experienced manager herself with a history of working in the not-for-profit arts, food industries and facilities management with some of Toronto’s premier performing arts and sports facilities. Skilled in Coaching, Event Management, Management, Leadership, and Customer Service, Janette has her H.B.A from McMaster University, Human Resources Management diploma from Seneca College, B.A. from U of T, CHRL, and certificates in AODA, Episodic Disabilities, and Workplace Investigations Certification.
Janette has a passion for volunteering in her community. Notably, she was the Workforce Supervisor for the Invictus Games and has been with CARD (Community for Riders with Disabilities) for over 5 years.