A set of words that we should all be saying and hearing more in the workplace is “thank you”.
Science backs up the fact that saying thanks has benefits for the person who says it the, the one it is said to and to those who may witness it. Simply observing another saying thank you, led participants to be more helpful towards the grateful person.
What’s more, there are many ways to say thanks to your team that will not empty your bank account.
Benefits of saying thanks to your team:
- It fosters trust and team cohesion
- It improves mood and wellbeing
- It positively impacts mental health
- It increases employee morale
- It improves on-job satisfaction
- It reduces stress in the workplace
- It leads to an increase in productivity
The best part is you don’t have to break the bank to share sincere, impactful gratitude. Below, we share some cheap ways to say thanks to your team.
Say ‘Thank you’ in the moment
The cheapest and easiest ways, and yet one of the most of effective ways, to say thanks to your team is to say the words ‘thank you’ when someone deserves it. Whenever possible, try and say thank you in the moment and not bank it for a later date.
A meaningful thank you may require some vulnerability but it is worth it. Instead of just saying thank you, go ahead and state what you are thanking the person for.
For instance; ‘Thank you for delivering this report on time, you have helped us to end this project successfully and exceed our client’s expectations too.’
Write thank you notes/emails
It may be time to revive the art of writing thank you notes. This is a simple way to say thanks to your team and make them feel valued.
Write something unique on each card to make everyone feel extra special. If you are unable to send a physical note, you can send thank you emails. This is a good way to build culture in a remote team.
While it is expected for team leaders to say thank you to the team, a team member can spearhead the thank you practice by saying thanks to team mates and their manager.
Make their birthday special
A thank you can be said as a result of a job well done, but it can also be said to appreciate a person for who they are. And what better day to do that on than their birthday.
Cake, a meal, a day off are some of the options you can explore. Don’t forget those whose birthdays land on the weekend or on public holidays. Go ahead and give them the special treatment when they come in to the office.
Offer time off
Who wouldn’t appreciate an extra day off to relax, catch up with hobbies and friends? Say thanks to your team by offering extra time off. This can be whole days or just a few afternoons off. Many companies now have a wellness program to allow for mental health days and the like.
Let employees know ahead of time, or get their input on when would be the best time to use their free day. This will give them enough time to plan and make the best of their day.
Offer surprise lunch
Depending on the size of your team, this can be an affordable way to say thanks to your team. Ordering breakfast, lunch or some coffees, or taking the team out for a meal will make them feel appreciated. At the same time, you will create the space for people to de-stress and have a light moment.
Give them a way to say thank you to their community
Gratitude begets gratitude so one way to say thanks to your team is to give them a chance to say thanks to others. Giving back to the community feels good. With the organisation’s support, employees can volunteer time to a cause of their choice.
This can be a clean-up activity, volunteering at a hospital or taking part in a tree planting exercise. Employees can also contribute to the community by mentoring and sharing skills with those who need them.
Ask how you can return the favour
Expressing thank you through actions is a good way to make people feel appreciated. You can offer to take a piece of work off someone’s desk, or offer to get them a cup of tea from the café or offer them help with an application for a course they want to enrol in.
The favour may not even be work related. Perhaps they are starting a new 1 hour pottery class after work and would appreciate the company. Don’t think of this as an exchange, rather look at it as a way you can show your gratitude.
Make it everyone’s business
Create a culture of gratitude in the workplace. This will make it easier for everyone to say thanks to their team, and encourages better teamwork. Managers can take the lead by including a time for thank you’s in the weekly meetings.
A gratitude wall, where everyone can write and post a thank you to a deserving teammate is another tactic some organisations have tried. However, do not forget that some people may be shy about being appreciated publicly. Offer various avenues for people to say thanks to their team.
By having a culture of gratitude, people become more mindful of the good happening around them and this makes for a more positive work environment.
Say it on their LinkedIn Profile
Sometimes where the thank you is said matters. Public praise on their LinkedIn profiles is an impactful way to say thanks to your team. A glowing recommendation will aid employees in their career development and lead to career success in the future.
People underestimate what a simple thank you can do and this may lead them to hold back. There might also be some embarrassment around walking up to someone and thanking them, but like most activities, repetition is the key to making it easier. Encourage teams to say thank you, to build a gratitude practice and everyone in the team will be better for it.