We spend a lot of time with our coworkers, more time than with our families, our spouse, our children, our in laws - you get the idea. We spend the majority of our day with these people, yet when was the last time you felt appreciated? I’m guessing it probably wasn’t recently. More importantly, when was the last time you took the time to tell a coworker just how much you really appreciate them?
Think about your own interactions with the people you work with. Who are you first to help out? Probably the people who reciprocate and make sure that you know your extra effort was noticed, not the people who take you for granted or act entitled for your help. We’re social beings by nature, but how we interact with others is a direct reflection of how they make us feel.
1). Thank Their Manager
Part of everyone's job is to let their manager know how awesome they are at work. But it’s even better when your coworkers do that for you! If you’ve relied on a particular employee recently, or someone has really stood out to you as putting in extra effort - don’t be afraid to say something to their boss! It truly is the most selfless compliment you could pay someone, and the return for them is quite high.
2). Speak Up in a Team Meeting
No one likes to toot their own horn, but if someone's extra effort really came through for you on a big project - or someone put in extra time that wasn't required of them, speak up! It will come across as much more genuine and sincere to your other coworkers and your boss if a compliment of someone's extra mile is brought up by another person.
This type of recognition is also very important with the Millennial generation. While all individuals enjoy praise, our youngest working group responds to it even more so than the generations before them. "Millennials are a generation that was raised by parents who praised them and were concerned with their self esteem. They still need that encouragement". Showing everyone, especially Millennials, that their work was recognized and appreciated, will up the odds they'd be willing to go the extra mile again in the future.
3). Bring Them a Treat
This may seem a bit elementary, but I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like to be brought a cookie to enjoy after lunch or a hot latte in the morning to help kick-start their day on the right foot. It makes the everyday just a little bit special.
It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture, but if you know Tiffany is running late that morning, take notes for her during your meeting, or if James has a big client meeting late in the day, offer to pick up some lunch for him while you're on your break. Offering to do a little something for them will show you’re paying attention and that you care.
If bringing in just one treat for one person seems too much, bring in something the entire department can enjoy, like donuts on a Friday morning. Attach a note to the box letting everyone know how much you appreciate their hard work, and feel free to call out one person in particular who really shined.
4). Write a LinkedIn Recommendation
Everyone is quick to endorse others on LinkedIn, mainly because it takes little effort on their end. However, if you truly want to show someone you care - write them a LinkedIn recommendation. This is similar to writing a letter of recommendation when someone is applying for a new job. Having a set of solid references on your LinkedIn profile will help send the message to future companies that people enjoy working with you, and that you get things done.
When writing your rec, be sure to include specifically why you enjoy working with this person, and what they do consistently that stands out from the crowd. This will definitely come in handy for them one day, and will help them achieve their personal professional goals. It is the ultimate “thank you” that will keep on giving in the future.
5). Just Say Thank You
During the daily grind we often forget how much people do for us. Is your workplace clean everyday, and your workspace safe and functional? Thank your facilities manager. Are you caught up with your company messages and department appointments, and are up-to-date on the latest happenings in your office? Thank your office manager. We can often get so deep into our own working lives that we forget the people who actually make it possible for us to come to work and function everyday. A simple, thank you in passing or a short note left on someone's desk goes a long way, and let's them know they're appreciated.