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Four ways to show gratitude to colleagues this holiday season

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Nov 21, 2017 • Tricia McKim • Blog

Thought Leadership



William Arthur Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, the team at Morningstar Communications shares our favorite ways to show gratitude to your colleagues this holiday season, and throughout the year.

1. Use small, but personal gestures.

“Small, but personal gestures always bring a smile and show your sincere gratitude,” comments senior account executive, Laura Boyd.

Whether it’s a small bag of coffee, a batch of homemade cookies or a box of your colleague’s favorite candy, small tokens of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Send a hand-written note.

“I’m a huge fan of sending hand-written thank you notes with a personalized sentiment inside that pinpoints something specific you appreciate about the recipient,” says president, Sheri Johnson. “It’s the specificity that makes any thank you memorable and provides special meaning to the receiver.”

3. Email your colleague’s boss.

Shanny Morgenstern, COO, points to an article by Katie Douthwaite Wolf. In the article, Wolf recommends sending a note to your colleague’s boss to let them know about the great work they’ve done. Make sure to copy your colleague on the email so they also see your compliment.

Melissa Arroyo, digital marketing consultant, agrees that email, even if it just goes to your colleague, is a great show of gratitude. “Take a few minutes to send a warm recognition email to your team members. They worked so hard and they deserve lots of praise!”

4. Tell colleagues “thank you” face-to-face.

Sometimes the most meaningful acknowledgement is the one given face-to-face. Eric Morgenstern, CEO, recommends showing gratitude to colleagues and teammates by “being simple and direct, specific and immediate.”

I agree. “Thank you” is a powerful phrase and too often we take our colleagues’ work and contributions for granted. Say “thank you” often. Don’t be stingy. But mean it when you say it and pair it with authentic signs of appreciation.

Eric also points out that when showing gratitude, you should keep the recipients likes and dislikes in mind. “Be sure to customize your appreciation from the recipient’s point of view,” he says. “For example, some people want public recognition; others want praise to be handled in private. Some people prefer tangible rewards (cash) and some people prefer time (an extra vacation day) and others truly prefer simple recognition and believe that an actual reward "cheapens" the recognition. Remember, it’s not how you want to recognize a teammate; it’s how they want to be recognized.”

Maya Angelou said, “… people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This holiday season and all year round, let’s each work to not leave “gifts” ungiven and unopened, but instead show our gratitude and ensure our colleagues feel our appreciation and thanks for all they’ve done and are yet to do.