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Posted on 5 January 2022
The Great Recognition: 25 reasons to say thank you at work
3 minute read

Our recent article covering 2022 employee engagement trends highlighted how companies need to make bold changes to make employees feel valued and comfortable in their roles this year.

People are motivated differently, but the positive impact of a simple “thank you” is often under-utilised to inspire and empower employees.

Saying thank you seems like a simple favour, but most people struggle. Whether you’re a chief executive, a middle manager or an entry-level graduate, telling someone you appreciate them, or something they’ve done, can be difficult if you don’t count yourself as creative.

And let’s not forget why saying thank you is important. Showing appreciation for our peers can foster feelings of value and belonging, increase motivation and reinforce positive behaviour across teams.

To give you some inspiration this year, we’ve come up with a simple list of 25 reasons why you might thank a colleague. Plus, some lovely ideas for how to phrase your thank you.

You could thank a colleague for…
1. Giving you their time (helping on a project, lending an ear, explaining something)
2. Leading by example
3. Being committed to a difficult task or project
4. Demonstrating company values
5. Being incredibly kind or thoughtful
6. Injecting fun into the workplace
7. Showing confidence in your own abilities which has helped you achieve something
8. Being flexible
9. Giving you the opportunity to work on something outside of your normal remit
10. A nice comment made in person or virtually – something that made you feel valued
11. Their swiftness when dealing with something
12. Sharing their opinions when others held back
13. Working outside of what’s expected/going above and beyond
14. Getting great feedback from a colleague, customer or supplier that’s positively impacted the business
15. Reaching a milestone at work, e.g. completing training or reaching their 10-year anniversary
16. Achieving or getting close to their targets
17. Showing personal support to you or your colleagues
18. Providing helpful advice or feedback
19. Offering training or information to colleagues
20. Standing by you in a challenging discussion with a customer or colleague
21. Doing something outside of their usual job remit
22. Organising a work or social event
23. Volunteering their help with being asked
24. Being organised or well-prepared
25. Having initiative in work-related projects

And some handy phrases for those who struggle to put feelings into words!

“I just wanted to say thanks for….”
“Thank you for [what they did], it really meant a lot to me.”
“Thank you for [what they did], the team and I are really inspired by your actions because [reasons why it was special]”
“It’s great being part of your team – when you [what they did] it really helped me with [ways it helped you].”
“A massive high five for [what they did], you’re clearly demonstrating [company value], and I just wanted to show appreciation for that.”
“I really appreciate you for [what they did].”
“I want to express my gratitude/appreciation/thanks for [what they did].”
“I really value [what they did], so thanks a lot!”
“I can’t thank you enough for [what they did].”
“[What they did] really means a lot to me.”
“Thanks for being in my corner!”