4 Keys for Showing Gratitude at Work


Sometimes saying thank you to people at work can feel awkward. When it comes to gratitude, our professional life can feel less clear than our other relationships. However, research shows sharing thanks can add tremendous value to our organizations. Gratitude builds trust and promotes kindness in the workplace. So how do you show gratitude to others at work without seeming over the top? Keep these four simple keys in mind the next time you thank someone you work with.

1. Personal

When expressing your gratitude to someone at work, avoid saying “we”. Instead focus your comment on the impact their actions had on you. Explain what value they gave you. How did they make a difference for you? This shows the other person that they are not only appreciated but are doing meaningful and valuable work.

2. Authentic

Avoid generic tokens of appreciation or broad comments such as “great work”. More often than not, people will question the sincerity of general statements. Be as specific as possible when expressing gratitude. Genuinely and concisely describe your appreciation without self deprecating or over doing it. This helps the other person feel assured that your gratitude is genuine and tied to a specific action.

3. Relevant

Whenever possible, avoid waiting for too long after the fact to express your gratitude to someone. Timely expressions of appreciation will have more impact because the actions are still fresh in everyone’s mind. This lets the other person receive positive feedback more quickly which can boost morale and motivation.

4. Tailored

As much as possible, try to understand the other person’s style of communicating and tailor your expression of gratitude to fit them. For example, some people may not be comfortable with public praise but will appreciate a note of thanks. Be creative and flexible with delivering your message to the other person in a way that they will find valuable.

Something to Try

This week, consider saying thank you to someone at work using these four keys as a guide.

Danielle Metzinger is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Viola Lopez-Herrera, Ed.D.

This is an excellent article and a great re-enforcement of sometimes we forget to do because it seems we are always in a hurry!

Danielle Metzinger

Thank you for reading, Viola! I agree, the daily grind sometimes distracts us from these important basics.