Did you know that this Friday, March 2, is Employee Appreciation Day? While we think it’s wonderful to honor the occasion with an annual gesture for fellow workers, we also think that appreciation is best shown often – both because it’s the right thing to do and because it delivers regular, positive benefits to the recipient and workplace. Further, appreciation is a practice that should extend beyond office walls and into every part of your life – to family, friends, and community.
Appreciation is about more than giving thanks – by definition, it means “the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone”. What can we do in our everyday lives to show appreciation beyond a verbal “thank you”? It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. Sometimes, it can be as simple as taking the gesture to the next level. In that vein, take a look at the following five ideas, and start showing those around you that their efforts are appreciated:
- Write it by hand. The volume of electronic messages we receive each day can be staggering, which means that your heartfelt thanks can get lost in the crowd. Take a moment to write a note of appreciation by hand – whether on stationery or a sticky note, it will have more impact.
- Show your gratitude with small gestures. Headed to the break room to top off your coffee? Offer to do the same for your deadline-stressed coworker. Little actions like this have a cumulative effect, making others feel valued.
- Recognize an absence. Your cube neighbor is out with the flu. Sure, their absence means more work for you – but when they return, use the opportunity to tell them how indispensable they are and how much their contributions are appreciated.
- Make it public. It’s always nice to be thanked, but it feels especially good when it’s in earshot of others. Try to recognize those you appreciate in a meeting, at the communal dining table, or even over the water cooler where peers can hear all about it.
- Celebrate milestones. When people around you mark birthdays, anniversaries, hire dates, births, or other milestones, recognize it in some way – whether you bring in cookies, present a gift, offer a lunch treat, or just give a verbal shout out, it shows your appreciation for them as a fellow human being.