Rewards & Recognition | Article

Gratitude Guide: How to Show Your Employees You Care

It’s September 21st, aka World Gratitude Day! So here are some tips for appreciating your employees…both today and year-round.

According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, individuals that voluntarily leave their job cite lack of appreciation as a major reason for leaving. This is one of many statistics that reflect one resounding finding – Employees want to feel appreciated, recognized, and cared for. Here are five ways to show gratitude:

Handwrite notes

We have to start with some good old-fashioned handwritten notes. They’re quick, simple, and virtually free yet can be quite impactful. When you write a note thanking or praising someone, make it timely and specific. Try to write the note the day or week that what you’re recognizing happened. Explain exactly why you are grateful for them, their behaviors/actions, or their accomplishments.   

Give virtual high fives

Modern technology offers another inexpensive way to show gratitude. And in many different ways! Send a private eCard saying thanks or post public recognition in a company platform like a Moments Feed. If your organization utilizes points, give them out frequently. Set recognition reminders to hold yourself accountable and help form the daily habit!

Celebrate milestones

Beyond day-to-day recognition, it’s important to formally recognize your employees too. Celebrate service anniversaries and take extra time to say how much you appreciate your employees. Thank them for their hard work and loyalty, no matter if it’s been one year or 25 years.

In addition to career milestones, celebrate your team members’ personal life milestones. Weddings, babies, new houses – You name it. Work and life are intertwined so it’s great to acknowledge personal milestones. They’ll feel truly cared for and seen!

Help them grow

Another great form of gratitude is investing in your employees. People want to learn and grow so help them do just that. Growth does not necessarily have to mean vertical movement. It can be horizontal and zig zag back and forth. Be open to reskilling and internal mobility as your employees seek to explore new areas.

Feed them

It might sound silly, but people love food. Surprise your team with donuts in the morning every once in a while. Treat an employee to a one-on-one lunch for a work anniversary or an achievement. There are some great options for remote employees like virtual lunches or sending treats. Whether it’s just for fun, to say thanks, or to celebrate, these moments can help bring you and your team closer together.


There is not a one-time solution for recognition and gratitude. Truly appreciating your employees is an ongoing journey that never ends. It doesn’t stop after World Gratitude Day, Employee Appreciation Day, or any other special days. So, add these five tips to your toolkit for daily use!