REALity Question: How does your leader say thanks?

The week of Thanksgiving always seems like a good time to reflect on how we can thank employees for their hard work and for the value they bring to the company. But frankly, I don’t like the way that feels. Though there’s certainly nothing wrong with thanking employees around the holidays, it can also seem very trite, especially if that’s the only time of the year you show your appreciation!

This week, I want to focus on how leaders can show their thankfulness year round. Instead of just listing my ideas of good ways to thank employees, I wanted to hear from the employees themselves! This is a REALity question from me! So, this weekend I e-mailed a handful of friends and asked them the following question:

How does your leader show his/her thankfulness to you in a way that means the most to you?

Here’s what they had to say:

Some of my favorite things my boss does to thank me for my work are simple yet very meaningful things like a hand written note, a random invitation to  lunch (just the two of us) or remembering specific examples of what I do that she likes when we have my performance review. Another one of my favorites is when she goes out of town and brings me back some trinket from her travels. It just shows she’s thinking about me even when she’s not at the office.”

“I always knew my boss was thankful for me when she sent me a text message saying ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ or ‘I’m so thankful you are in my life.’ I also appreciated her notes of appreciation. One of the most memorable things she would do was create an end-of-the-year CD with inspirational songs and a letter attached.”

“I enjoyed it when one of my leaders would have the team over to their home for a meal. It’s like they were inviting us into their lives, and I knew their busy schedules meant they were using their own personal time to give the team some fun time together. I also really appreciated their personalized hand-written notes or e-mails thanking me for my work or noting the work I did well…Several years later I can still recall specifically what some of those notes said.”

“I know my boss appreciates me when he values my input, asks for my feedback, and trusts my recommendations and my decisions. Some other things that show he thinks I matter include remembering things about my personal life, sharing their time with me, and sacrificing his time, his energy or his resources for my benefit.”

What about you? Do you have an illustration to share on how you or your leader has expressed their thankfulness? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Leaders, I want to challenge you to know what makes each member of your team feel appreciated, and make it a point to show your appreciation throughout the year!

I hope you’re able to spend some time with the people you love this week. I’ll be back on Monday to discuss a subject that I’m crazy about, which makes others think I’m just crazy! That’s all I’m saying for now!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  • Linda,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    My boss, who I greatly admire and follow her leadership daily has two main ways that she thanks me:
    She tells me verbally
    She tells me via email
    She gives me hugs

    All three tell me that she appreciates my hard work and is thankful for what I do.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • kathy jones says:

    I really like it when i get a paycheck. That is how i know my boss appreciates me. A job, with benefits, is a very special “thank you”!