Showing appreciation to your team is one way of showing you’re a leader and motivator, not just a boss. The key elements of this are to recognize effort and success with consistency and specificity while targeting your team members relevantly. To randomly reward for no reason and give an employee something they wouldn’t find useful takes a positive motivational tool and dwindles it to a sputter. An example of a poorly targeted reward would be to give a pregnant team member a gift certificate to go rock climbing.


We’ve collected a few of our favorite “thank you” gifts to get you started: 

  1. Be flexible with their time and location. Let team members work from home or come in early and leave early. This shows you trust them and their time and resource management.

  2. Treat the team to lunch either once in a while or regularly. You’ll feel like you have your own kingdom when you proclaim, “Pizza for one and all.” We’ll admit, this is a regular occurrence here at HQ and we have yet to tire of this show of appreciation.

  3. Give a gift certificate to the restaurant, coffee shop, or cafe nearest the office.

  4. Offer a closer reserved parking space. In an office where you own the adjacent parking lot, having a prime spot can save minutes and energy each morning and evening. And don’t let that spot be under a tree of birds’ nests or you’ll need to give a car wash too.

  5. When emailing your team or specific members to say “job well done,” why not CC YOUR boss so their recognition goes one level higher.

  6. Set aside time at the next department or staff meeting to say “thank you” and name the team members. Acknowledgment beyond just the team may seem trivial, but it may make a big difference to morale.

  7. Arrange for an extra flex day so each team member can have a bonus day off.

  8. Hire a massage therapist to visit the office to give the team massages. Don’t forget to bring in green tea and a fresh fruit platter for the full in-office spa effect.

  9. Say “thank you” and other more thoughtful words of appreciation to express gratitude. This is an ideal approach if time is short and you are leaping from project to project, leaving no time for other signs of gratitude.

Telling your team or members of your team you are appreciative doesn’t have to be a challenge for the company coffers if you channel sincerity and creativity. When expressing your appreciation to team members, you can do one thing for the group, or something different for each person. Either way, be careful if you choose to single out one or two team members and always explain the reasoning as to not plant any seeds of animosity or  jealousy. Saying thank you is vital for morale, confidence, and motivating staff. Employees are likely to work harder if they feel like they are making valuable contributions to the company. The nine tips above are some suggestions of gratitude. Show your appreciation in whatever way you can, big or small, just acknowledge work well done. The important thing to remember is reward when warranted. Don’t let their efforts go unnoticed! If your staff have done wonders for you and your company show them some love in return. Is there a thoughtful way you currently thank your team? How would YOU like to be thanked? Do you like learning how to be more productive or collaborate better? Subscribe to the High Performance Blog.