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How to Say Thank You to Coworkers [2024 Guide]

November 26, 2021
8 Min Read
Photo by
Tommy Blake

Table of Contents:

Why is saying thank you to coworkers important?

By thanking your coworkers regularly for all of their hard work, they will enjoy working with you more and be more willing to go above and beyond for you. In addition, being grateful for a coworker's help can make you feel much better about your own work and contributions to the company. The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley calls gratitude the “social glue” that can help improve the climate in workplaces.

While it may be easy to say thank you to a coworker for completing a task or favor, it can be difficult to remember to say "thank you" when the work is completed. If it becomes a daily habit, saying "thank you," will automatically become easier and less awkward. Not only will coworkers be more encouraged by your gratitude, but they will also feel that their contributions are valued and appreciated.

5 best practices to say thank you to coworkers at a small or medium sized business

It takes teamwork, time, and effort from everyone at a business to make a company successful. However, saying thank you is often limited to managers or supervisors who recognize individual contributions. How often do the workers on the front lines get thanked for their efforts? Make sure to include everyone!

This is much easier to do at a small or medium-sized business. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Write them a personalized note: Send handwritten notes acknowledging their efforts and thanking everyone involved in making something successful come together. Personalized cards are sometimes more meaningful than mass-printed versions. Writing out the message shows how much effort was put into it (and will serve as motivation to keep up the good work).
  2. Consider the person: While one employee might love getting public recognition, another might not want to be singled out in front of their coworkers. If this is the case, sending a personal thank you email to that individual may be appreciated more than a public message.
  3. Include a small gift: Giving a small but thoughtful gift will show that you don't just appreciate the work, but that you're grateful for their effort. Employers can give gift cards to say thank you to everyone they're working with, whether it's a grocery store gift card, gas card, virtual card, or some sort of retailer where they can choose from the store's full inventory.
  4. Hold a party or celebration: Invite everyone in the company to an event, whether it's a small gathering at someone's home or a large event at the local pub.
  5. Use food to say "Thank you": Hold a potluck lunch, serve their favorite dishes or just order in. 

Best practices to say thank you to coworkers at a large business or organization

It can be hard to offer a personal thank you to someone at a large business or organization, simply because there are just so many people. Some of the best practices for thanking coworkers at a large business or organization include:

  • A handwritten note or a personal email: No matter how large the business is, nothing beats sending a handwritten thank you note to someone.
  • A public thank you: One of the best ways to say thanks is through a company-wide email or blog post that addresses how your coworker helped you and also gives your colleagues some insight into what they do. This might not be possible for everyone but if it is, it will go a long way towards showing just how much their work means to others on your team.
  • Public praise in meetings: If you have the opportunity to thank your coworker publicly in a meeting, it's worth taking advantage of this.

How to say thank you to coworkers who work remotely

In today's fast-paced work environment, where there is often limited time for office life both onsite and offsite, it can be easy to forget that your coworkers are doing their best to get the job done from afar as part of your remote team.

How can we say thank you when gratitude can't always be expressed in person? Saying thank you doesn't have to mean flying across the country or giving a gift. An online high five counts too! But what about those other times when sending a note or token of thanks is appropriate? Here are some ideas for how to thank coworkers who work remotely:

  • Pay attention: Keep an eye out for something specific that you’re thankful for and then let them know. This shows that you were paying attention and appreciate their help, even if they aren't in the same room as you.
  • Reminisce: Reminiscing is a great way to bond with coworkers, even if they're hundreds of miles away from where the memories were made. It also serves as a reminder that no matter how much time goes by, your friendship hasn't changed. Thank them for being a wonderful coworker and friend.
  • Send a handwritten letter: Show you care by sending them a handwritten thank you letter thanking them for their hard work and then stick it in the mail.
  • Schedule an in-person meeting: If you think the time is right, take your coworker out for lunch. Even though this might not be possible every day, it's certainly not impossible to organize at least once. This is another great way to bond with your coworker outside of the workplace, and that will lead to better teamwork.

6 tips for how to say thank you to coworkers

Here are some tips on how to write thank-you notes for both big and small things:

  1. Keep it short: You don't want an awkward conversation about how many words are too many to write in your thank-you note. One or two sentences are sufficient.
  2. Be prompt: Put together your thank-you note ASAP after the good deed is done so that the person who helped you gets credit right away. If you leave it until later, there's a chance that they'll forget what they did to deserve your appreciation! According to Reward Gateway, 75% of those surveyed said that motivation and morale would improve if managers thanked them in real-time.
  3. Don't worry about formality: Don't stress spending hours crafting an eloquent, formal note. If you're pressed for time, a short text is fine.
  4. Be specific: Tell the person why their efforts on your behalf are important to you and helpful in your job. Let them know exactly what you appreciated about their great work!
  5. Stay professional: Remember that while this may be a good colleague and friend, first and foremost this is a colleague. Keep the tone professional. Make it all about business when writing notes related to work issues.
  6. Don't overdo it: Avoid spamming people constantly. Too many thank-yous can make you seem disingenuous, and it's tedious for them to keep receiving notes from you all the time.

Ideas for how to say thank you to coworkers

There are many ways to thank your coworkers. The best way is to be simple yet thoughtful about how you go about thanking them. A little heartfelt gratitude goes a long way. Sincerely giving praise works well even if the person doesn't directly benefit you at all times.

You can write out individual cards or group cards with your team. Sometimes, when you think about it, just saying thank you is enough. It's an act of kindness that will always be appreciated.

When someone goes above and beyond in helping you or doing something that makes your life easier or your job easier, then you should do something to make their lives better too. If this isn't possible then maybe sending them flowers would be nice along with sending them an email telling them what they did was appreciated.

Thanking your coworkers is easy and it doesn't have to cost much. Sometimes a simple smile and a wave can brighten up their day when they are feeling down. Just saying 'good job' is enough sometimes too when someone does something good for the team or organization.

Thanking your coworkers is not hard and can make a huge difference in how they feel about you, and about the workplace. Remember to thank them often and for everything big or small.

Software that helps you say thank you to coworkers

Although these apps and software programs provide great structure and guidance to express gratitude toward others, they do not fully replace the impact and power of personal interactions and handwritten notes. Still, they can be crucial in making sure all of your teammates feel the love. Here is a list of software and apps you can use for thanking coworkers:

  • Gratitude365: This app is available on iPhone, Android, Mac, and PC. It allows you to create your own custom gratitudes or choose from their list of suggestions. You can also save these gratitudes as notes to yourself until you are ready to post them! Use this to keep track of coworkers who have done something you are grateful for so you can come back later to write them a thank you.
  • Thank You Note Generator: This website provides a template for thank you notes (awesome!). If you’re struggling to find the right words, this will help.
  • Matter: This free app integrates with Slack and so you can thank coworkers right on the platform that you’re all already using. You can also use it to send kudos and praise!

Expressing gratitude toward others is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and those around us. The more thankfulness we feel throughout our days, the better quality of life we will have both in our professional and personal lives.

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