If you work a typical 9 to 5 like me, then you probably spend most of your time not with your friends or family, but with your coworkers. When it comes to giving thanks, I find it easy to forget that my colleagues are the ones who are there for me when I’m struggling on a project, give me a high-five when I crush a presentation, and offer me advice thanks to their experience and expertise. Here are some ways to show your coworkers some love:
Schedule get-to-know-you time
Showing gratitude doesn’t have to mean grand gestures or spending lots of money. Set aside time to get to know your coworkers — I like to take them out for coffee, meet in our cafeteria, or schedule a video call for a virtual happy hour — where there is one rule: We can’t talk about work.
I work in marketing and spend a lot of time writing the perfect line or witty tweet. I’ve found that getting to know my colleagues on a more personal level makes them feel appreciated — and helps us work better together. If you’re not sure how to get started, these conversation starters have worked for me!
Give them a shout-out
I’m the first to admit I can get caught up in the go-go-go of daily life at work. When a project wraps up, it’s easy to move on without celebrating or reflecting — but this is a great time to thank your teammates for helping you out in both big and small ways.
One easy way to do this is to send them (or better yet, their manager!) a quick thank you note on Slack, in email, or formally through your company’s HR system. It can be as simple as a “Great job!” or “Thank you so much for your help on Project XYZ. You really helped it come together!” I find that a compliment can make someone else’s day and make them feel appreciated. (It certainly does for me!)
Bring in snacks, baked goods, or candy
I love to bake different goodies for my coworkers — our team is small, so I keep track of birthdays and other important milestones so that everyone can feel appreciated. My team has a tradition that whenever you travel, you have to bring back snacks or chocolate so we can all try something new. I’ve loved getting to know new flavors from Japan, India, France, and more.
Whether or not there’s a special occasion, bringing in bagels in the morning or a treat for the afternoon slump can show the whole office how much you care.
Organize an outing
You may have an HR team that already organizes team-building opportunities, in which case, get to know them! If you work in an office like mine and these types of outings are mostly self-driven, talk to your manager about organizing one for your immediate team. My team loves to go out to eat, but we’ve also done an escape room, gone skiing, tried a painting class, and picked apples together. They’ve all been morale-boosting activities filled with fun bonding time.
Your office may already have a budget set aside for this and not even know! Find out the details of how to organize an outing and go for it. I’ve found Thursdays to be the right evening and at least two or three weeks notice for the best turnout.
Write a note
Many people might think that gift-giving is the only way to show gratitude, but at work, presents may be inappropriate unless you already have a friendship with that person or they’re your direct report. A simpler way to show your gratitude is to use a pen and paper and write a handwritten thank you note. It doesn’t need to be specific — I usually stick with something simple, like telling them that I appreciate them and everything they do for me on a regular basis.
Originally published on November 19, 2019.