I recently found myself reflecting on how much our lives have changed this year, and one thing stood out to me: our lost moments of gratitude and shared accomplishment with colleagues. As many of us continue to work remotely, we’re missing that camaraderie. The high-fives across office desks. Shared success (and relief) when a big client meeting goes well. Spontaneous moments of connection, like passing a coworker in the break room and saying, “Great job during the team brainstorm!”
Even though it’s easy to feel distant, we can’t lose that sense of gratitude while working remotely. And with Thanksgiving approaching, now is the perfect time to show appreciation for your colleagues.
Why Showing Appreciation is Important
Specific and straightforward thank yous go a long way. It only takes a moment, and this acknowledgment can make someone’s day. A little appreciation can have a ripple effect across your organization as employees feel that their time and energy are genuinely valued. When everyone is working from home, moments of gratitude are ties that bind, helping us feel part of something bigger. We’re more likely to go above and beyond for our colleagues and clients, delivering a higher quality of work and more personalized service.
Not sure where to start? Here five ways to help your colleagues feel more appreciated:
How to Offer Appreciation for Colleagues
Consider how people prefer to be recognized. Some people get a boost from public accolades and appreciate being recognized during a team meeting or weekly stand up. Other people prefer recognition in more personal, one-on-one moments. Consider what will feel most authentic for your recipient and tailor your thank-you to their preferences.
Bring attention to the “behind-the-scenes” work. When we’re working remotely, the amount of effort that goes into tasks can easily go unnoticed. Perhaps a colleague was assigned a project that required extra research or legwork, or another colleague solved a technical challenge to make your next virtual presentation go more smoothly. Let them know this work made a difference, especially when their effort may not be immediately obvious to everyone else on the team.
Be specific. When showing appreciation, mention what you’re specifically grateful for. Rather than saying, “Thank you, Kevin, for your hard work this week,” try saying, “Thank you, Kevin, for jumping in at the last minute to help us rework the introduction for our client presentation. It really makes an impact now thanks to your editing skills!”
Include a small thank you gift. At Lucas Group, we recognize employees who best exhibit our company values. We send an email acknowledging their excellent work, and add a gift card for coffee, UberEats, or DoorDash. We’ve also had small prizes, like a beer or a wine delivery, for employees who hit certain milestones.
Celebrate together. Miss celebrating the big wins with your team in person? Kick-off a virtual version by sending seasonally-themed craft beer and snacks or wine to your colleagues. This type of gift won’t be the right fit for every work environment, but you can tailor items to best suit your company’s style.
Resources may be more scarce right now, but appreciation doesn’t need to be. Small gestures go a long way toward making your colleagues feel valued.
How have you shown appreciation for a colleague recently? Share the story with me in the comments below.