April 9, 2020

Ten ways to show your appreciation to coworkers

Chances are, you’re working on a team that is all moving in one direction towards a goal. Maybe it is to develop a piece of software. Or it is to get the numbers just right on a spreadsheet. Or to slowly construct a bridge. Whatever it is, we have all heard the saying that you can get more done with more people than you can by yourself.

I am tremendously blessed to be working with some of the smartest individuals. I learn something new every single day. And if you are blessed to work with some of the smartest people who are positive, encouraging and lift you up, there are great ways to show your appreciation. Here are ten ideas for you:

Offering your help

Yesterday, I logged into my computer to answer an e-mail. As I was on, a coworker messaged me and while my coworker did not say it directly, I did feel that they needed help in some way. I asked them how I could help. My coworker didn’t ask me for help so I offered it to them. They did not take me up on my offer though, but it gave them very positive encouragement that they could rely on someone else if they needed it.

Saying thank you and genuinely meaning it

A little while later though, my coworker did ask for my help. I was going to be a fresh set of eyes on some writing that they were preparing. I thought through the writing, made a number of edits and comments, and then sent it back. I was surprised to get back a thank you that was genuinely appreciative of my help. It’s rare to get that from someone – sometimes I get so many thank you’s that they really do not seem genuine.

Take them out for a coffee

The next time your coworker seems stressed or has low energy (and you’ll know it when they seem ‘off’), take them out for a coffee. Sometimes, the change in environment or that 5 minute walk is a great way to get their mind off of things and to relax a bit.

Give them your undivided attention

In Kate Murphy’s book “You’re not listening”, one of the greatest gifts that we can give someone else, especially those that are close to us, is our undivided attention when they speak. We aren’t speaking with our smartphones in front of us. We aren’t speaking while trying to do something else. We are sitting down, paying attention and actively listening to what someone is saying and their body language and tone so that we can hear the things that they do not say.

Give them credit

When coworkers help me, I never take the credit for myself. I always make sure that they are recognized for their efforts and help and that others, especially those above me, are aware that this was not a sole effort and that I had help. I don’t need the credit myself, and I don’t see why giving credit from others would take away from me so I do it freely and generously.

Promote your coworkers to others

Today, I started up a mini table topics session at my work. I had three participants, but they were quite vocal about how beneficial it was to them. I’m not very good at promoting and tooting my own horn, but they thought it was so good that they were telling others at a large team meeting we had. I thought that it was very nice of them to do.

Get to know your coworker

I feel that I don’t do enough to get to know my coworkers. We work together all the time, but sometimes there is a certain ‘barrier’ that you may not want to cross. Some coworkers become friends, but most of them stay on the side of professional. Just because you don’t ever see yourself becoming friends with a coworker doesn’t mean you can’t get to know them a bit better. Do they have pets? Do they have travel plans? What restaurants do they like to go to?

Compliment them

In addition to saying thank you, you can pair that with a compliment to get an even better affect and response. I especially like to compliment someone on their skills and abilities, especially if they used those skills to help me with something. Are they a good writer? Are they good at designing presentations? Are they good at reviewing work to find mistakes? Let them know!

Purchase a small but meaningful gift

Remember those questions from before? You can use some of your knowledge about your coworkers to get them a small but meaningful gift. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It can be a book on a topic that they are interested in learning more about. It can be a mouse because you see that they have been using their laptop trackpad all the time and complaining about how hard it is to use. It can be a one time pass to that yoga studio they keep meaning to sign-up for, but haven’t got around to it for whatever reason.

Write a card

One of the easiest and most effective ways of showing your appreciation is writing a card. I was pleasantly surprised when I received my first card for helping out another coworker and there is something about getting a hand-written card that gives warm fuzzies to the other person.


How do you show your appreciation to coworkers? What are some of the things that you have done and what reactions have you gotten?

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