Drawing a blank as to how you can say “thank you” in a way that proves you mean it? Here are 50 employee recognition ideas that’ll help you show how thankful you are:
1. Use your words to say “thank you” the old-fashioned way.
2. Write a handwritten note.
3. Bake the best cookies you know how to bake.
4. Take your coworker out to lunch.
5. Offer to take something off your colleague’s plate.
6. Open up to your coworkers; get personal.
7. Cue them in on any work-related opportunities you find out about.
8. Tell other people how awesome your coworker is — word will get around.
9. Always be willing to lend an ear and hear about your colleagues’ problems.
10. Give your coworkers a small gift they can put on their desks.
11. Buy your colleagues coffee and pastries.
12. Write about how awesome they are in a LinkedIn recommendation.
13. Boost the salaries of workers who deserve it — even if it’s not annual review time.
14. Send employees to conferences and seminars for professional development.
15. Promote workers who deserve it.
16. Create an employee development plan outlining a worker’s projected career path.
17. Buy the entire team ice cream or gelato on a hot day.
18. Write an email to your whole team explaining how awesome your coworker is.
19. Recognize an employee’s efforts in a public setting (e.g., a meeting).
20. Lead by example; work as hard as you can.
21. Ask colleagues their opinion on important decisions.
22. Let team members who went above and beyond work remotely.
23. Appoint a team member (or recommend them) to serve on an interdepartmental committee.
24. Draw a funny cartoon showing how much you appreciate their help.
25. Make your coworker a mix CD or Spotify playlist (who doesn’t like new music?).
26. Mention their awesome deeds in shout-outs on social media.
27. Invest in new tools and technologies for your team.
28. Create a company-specific status symbol (e.g., a stuffed animal) and give it out whenever someone goes above and beyond.
29. Take your team on an off-site.
30. Make a certificate to hang on your colleague’s wall (e.g., “Best Coworker Ever”).
32. Offer to do as many small favors as you can (e.g., “I’m running to Staples. Do you need anything?”).
33. Ask an employee to present their work at a meeting or conference on behalf of the team.
34. Regularly solicit feedback from employees to get their ideas on how to improve work.
35. Let a team member pick out music the next time it’s appropriate to play it in the office.
36. Give an employee a title bump (if you can’t outright promote them).
37. Toast them at your next work-related function.
38. Leave a present on their desk anonymously.
39. Help your coworker out the next time that person’s in a pinch.
40. Bring your colleague a tchotchke from your next vacation.
41. Offer to clean your coworker's workspace.
42. Let your employee leave work early.
43. Volunteer to help your coworker on whatever projects are coming down the pike.
44. Express your gratitude during a walk outside.
45. Make a funny video that shows how thankful you are.
46. Take on an extra assignment so your colleague can take a nap.
47. Buy some artwork to hang on your coworker’d wall (you first need to know what kind of artwork said coworker enjoys most).
48. Give them a handmade present; tap into your strongest skill set and make them something they won’t soon forget (e.g., a scarf).
49. Be kind to someone else as a way to pay it forward.
50. Send them a selfie featuring your biggest smile possible.
How do you say “thank you” to your coworkers and employees?