40 Ways to Say Thank You at Work

How to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude in Your Workplace

Senior woman showing respect while team applauding congratulating appreciation and employee recognition concept,business successful concept
MR.Cole_Photographer / Getty Images

Are you interested in ways to say thank you at work? One would hope so. In a workplace committed to creating an attitude of gratitude and employee recognition on a daily basis, every day should be Thanksgiving Day. Employee recognition doesn't have to be expensive and is appreciated by employees in almost any form. Company leaders also appreciate a thank you from employees when the organization takes time to recognize employees.

Employee recognition is best approached creatively. While money is an important way to say thank you, once the money is spent, it is easily forgotten. It is as if the recognition never happened. Ideas about ways to say thank you at work are limited only by your imagination. The power of saying thank you is magnified when the action, gift, or interaction, such as an interview, is accompanied by a thank you note or card.

Use the following ways to say thank you at work to employees and coworkers.

Spoken Words

  • Just say thank you—anytime, anyway, anyhow, and for any reason. Want to say more than thank you? It's important to know how to give great feedback to employees at work. It's very easy to say thank you in a way that makes employees feel valued and appreciated, so take the time to notice good contributions and successes. Daily feedback is best, weekly is admirable, but practice saying thank you nearly every day to some of your employees and coworkers. They and you will be happy that you took the time to care.


  • Base salary raised
  • Bonuses
  • Gift certificates
  • Cash awards

Written Words

  • Handwritten thank-you notes
  • A letter of appreciation in the employee file
  • Handwritten cards to mark celebratory occasions
  • Recognition posted on the employee bulletin board
  • Contribution noted in the company newsletter

Positive Attention From Management Staff

  • Stop by an individual’s workstation or office to talk informally
  • Provide frequent positive performance feedback — at least weekly
  • Provide public praise at a staff meeting
  • Take the employee out to lunch.

Encourage Employee Development

  • Send people to conferences and seminars
  • Ask people to present a summary of what they learned at a conference or seminar at a department meeting
  • Work out a written employee development plan
  • Make career development commitments and a schedule


  • Buy a pizza or another lunch for a team
  • Bring in cookies, gelato, a deli tray, or a fruit basket to share
  • Bring in an ice cream and toppings bar
  • Rent a popcorn machine for a week

The Work Itself

  • Provide cross-training opportunities
  • Provide more of the kinds of work the employee likes and less of the work that he or she does not like — know your employees well enough to know their preferences
  • Provide opportunities for empowerment and self-management
  • Ask the employee to represent the department at an important, external meeting
  • Have the employee represent the department on an inter-departmental committee
  • Provide opportunities for the employee to determine his or her own goals and direction
  • Participation in idea-generation and decision making


  • Keep drawings on the light side, especially if only one employee can win, but quick, fun drawings are ways to say thank you.
  • Hold a drawing for company logoed merchandise and other inexpensive items, for things like most product sold, best customer service, a project completed, sales leads obtained and so forth


  • Company logo merchandise such as shirts, hats, mugs, and jackets
  • Gift certificates to local stores
  • The opportunity to select items from a catalog
  • The ability to exchange positive points for merchandise or entry into a drawing for merchandise

Symbols and Honors

  • Framed or unframed certificates to hang on the wall or file
  • Engraved plaques
  • Larger work area or office
  • More and better equipment
  • Provide status symbols, whatever they are in your organization


  • Employee Benefits are also great opportunities to thank employees by providing perks and other generous, sometimes inexpensive benefits to employees.

The Bottom Line

Make saying thank you to coworkers a common practice, not a scarce resource, in your organization. With these ideas and the 120 provided in the benefits and perks article, you have many ideas that will help you develop a work environment that fosters employee recognition and hence, employee and customer success.

Motivated employees do a better job of serving customers well. Happy customers buy more products and are committed to using your services. When more customers buy more products and services, your company's profitability and success will skyrocket.