How to show gratitude to employees: 12 Handy Hints


Business coffee shopIf last year it was all about mindfulness, this year’s buzz word is surely gratitude.  So, if you are a business owner or leader, what better time to take a (mindful) moment to think about how you show gratitude to your team.

This month, we welcome guest blogger and employee engagement specialist Sharon Kennedy to share with us her tried and tested tips for employers wishing to show gratitude to employees.  Sharon is the founder and principal of Engage & Prosper, an employee engagement consultancy, and we really like the practical (and cost effective) nature of her suggestions.


“We all like to be personally appreciated for our contribution and effort, particularly at work.  Employees who feel valued tend to engage much better with their organization, leading to enhanced performance and output.

So showing your employees that you appreciate what they do for the business is not just a soft “nice to have” but makes sound commercial sense too.

With a bit of effort, a recognition culture can be created for free or certainly at a low cost, so there’s no excuse not to do it right. It really comes down to a bit of planning and some consistent activities and processes being put in place by the person or people responsible for supporting initiatives to drive increased employee engagement.

Here are just a few suggestions and ideas to take forward on how you can include employee recognition in your company on a daily basis and help improve your overall company culture.

12 ways to say thank you and show appreciation…

  1. A coffee or lunch with a senior member of the management team.
  1. E-cards, postcards, thank you cards and newsletters celebrating employee work are all great ways to communicate your appreciation for good work.
  1. The chance to showcase to key members of the company a project or piece of work they are proud of.
  1. The opportunity to work on a new challenge or special project in the business that allows them to contribute their skills and experience.
  1. The opportunity to spend time in the department of their choice for the day to learn about another area of the business.
  1. A few paid hours off or half day holiday.
  1. The chance to spend some time giving something back at a local charity or somewhere meaningful to the employee like a favourite or personal good cause.
  1. A training and development voucher that can be applied to external academic or vocational learning.
  1. The choice to come in late or work more flexibly for a week if policy or the role doesn’t ordinarily allow this.
  1. A well located free car parking space for a week or month, they are often limited in many workplaces so this one is usually quite popular.
  1. A free tea and cake pass at the local cafe or on-site canteen if you have one.
  1. Recognition and entry into a small reward scheme that only nominated or recognised employees qualify for. Prizes could be just silly just-for-fun things or more valuable and meaningful.

Let’s not forget the power of rewards in recognition. Employee centric reward choices, points, prizes and awards that the individual employee will value and enjoy (not everyone likes or want those spa days!). Rewards all help to back up and enhance your appreciation as an employer and add some punch to your recognition efforts.

So consider how you can incorporate some actual reward elements too when you are creating recognition or incentive programmes and when selecting the award prizes.  Don’t just go for the easy option of vouchers as your reward solution thinking your employees will prefer that. The thinking is “They can do what they like with them then right”?

True, but they won’t remember the real sentiment intended from the company awarding them or the deeper appreciation aspect of the reward as it will just go on sensible things like shopping or petrol. To embed behaviour change you need to touch and effect the employees emotional psyche not just enhance their financial position.”

Engage & Prosper is a UK based privately owned company that helps organisations to develop a highly productive workplace culture through enhanced employee engagement and tailored reward and recognition programmes.

For more information on Engage & Prosper or to discover how we they help you achieve your organisational goals please call +44 (0) 330 223 0464 or find out more at