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  • Appreciation header

    Showing Appreciation at Work

    Photo of Laura Sue Johnson

    by Laura Sue Johnson

    Appreciation header

    Have you ever had this experience? It’s Friday afternoon (or even well into the weekend) and it dawns on you that you forgot to highlight something a teammate accomplished earlier that week or maybe it was someone’s birthday, work anniversary, etc. and it simply slipped your mind. It happens to the best of us!

    When we are busy, it can be all too easy to overlook the importance of showing appreciation to both employees and clients, however, fostering a culture of gratitude not only boosts morale and engagement but also strengthens relationships. Let’s explore actionable, intentional ways we can express appreciation in the workplace both for your valued team members and your loyal clients.

    Appreciating team members

    Here are a few ways we can express gratitude for our invaluable team members:

    1. Recognize and Celebrate Hard Work & Wins

    Whether it's through employee of the month awards, peer-to-peer recognition platforms, or quarterly achievement ceremonies, providing public, verbal recognition not only highlights individuals' contributions but it helps the people throughout your organization understand one another better and appreciate the work you all do. While leaders should absolutely be leading the charge here, providing a way for everyone to celebrate the work of their peers is empowering and encouraging. Weekly meetings are a great opportunity to add in these mini-celebrations. Slack and other team-centric communication tools are another great way to let the whole team in on the celebrations. When a team feels appreciated and valued, they act differently in ways that benefit themselves, their teammates, and customers alike. This should be a top priority for all workplaces!

    2. Celebrate Milestones

    Recognize significant milestones such as work anniversaries, birthdays, or professional achievements. I’m a sucker for a good gift card, but you know your team members best! Try to make the gift and/or card about the recipient. What would make that person feel most seen, appreciated, and celebrated? Organize team celebrations, lunches, or small gestures like personalized gifts and gift cards to commemorate these occasions and show appreciation for your team members. If you’re a virtual team, don’t forget to highlight the occasion in your shared messaging platform so everyone can join in on the celebration!

    3. Handwritten Notes

    Taking the time to write personalized notes to employees can have a significant impact. Recognize their specific achievements, contributions, or efforts, and express genuine gratitude for their dedication and hard work. Handwritten notes add a personal touch and demonstrate that their efforts are truly valued.

    4. Professional Development Opportunities

    Invest in employees' growth and development by providing opportunities for learning and advancement. Whether it's sponsoring training programs, attending conferences, or offering mentorship opportunities, supporting employees' professional aspirations demonstrates a commitment to their success and fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

    When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.

    Kristin Armstrong

    Appreciating Clients

    Here are a few ways we can let clients know we appreciate them:

    1. Personalized Communication

    Similar to sending handwritten notes to our team members, engage with your clients on a personal level by sending personalized messages expressing gratitude for their partnership. Whether it's a handwritten note, a thoughtful email, or a phone call, acknowledging their support and expressing appreciation for their business strengthens the client relationship.

    2. Exclusive Offers or Discounts

    Show appreciation to clients by offering exclusive discounts, special promotions, or access to VIP events. Providing tangible benefits demonstrates that not only is their business valued, but you are familiar enough with their business and even the client as an individual that you know which services you have that may be of most value to them.

    3. Personalized Gifts for Business

    This is taking the personalized note a step further. It’s one thing to send a client a “thank you” gift that reminds them of your business, but it’s an entirely different approach to send your client a gift that reminds you of them. People want to feel seen and truly valued. How can we do this with our customers? Well, it widely depends on things like budget, time, industry, etc., however, regardless of any of these details, you can always find a thoughtful way to let a client know that you see and appreciate them.

    4. Surprise Gestures of Appreciation

    This might be our favorite one, and for the record, you can absolutely use this for both clients and team members! In this digital age, it seems that most of us enjoy connecting through video (especially if distance makes face-to-face interaction a challenge). Using websites like VidDay can give entire groups of people the opportunity to celebrate or thank someone collectively. Using fun and easy tools like this one can leave a lasting impression on people.

    Which area would be the best for you to focus on right now: your team or clients? We encourage you to take just one idea and find how it might best fit into your current practices.

    Opening photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

    Photo of Laura Sue Johnson

    Written by Laura Sue Johnson