How to show your gratitude

It’s that time of year again, when we start thinking about gratitude and how we should show more appreciation to the people in our lives. When it comes to your employees and co-workers, you should be doing it all year long.

However, if you are overdue in telling them how grateful you are for their effort, take the time to thank them either in person or in a handwritten note. Use this script:

Describe their specific behavior or actions. “Matt, thank you so much for staying until midnight on Friday to finish the inventory.”

Explain how it benefits the team or organization. “Because of you, we were able to meet the corporate deadline, which would have been impossible had you not stayed and worked so hard. As a result, the branch won’t be penalized and that keeps our year-end bonuses intact.”

Acknowledge personal sacrifice or effort. “I know it was a long day and that you missed out on spending time with your family on Friday to ensure that it was done. Yet, you did it without one complaint.”

Difficult People D

Tell them what their actions mean to you on a personal level. “The overall performance of this branch is my responsibility, and failing to meet corporate’s objections definitely looks bad for me. You truly saved me, and I am beyond grateful for how hard you work. Thank you again from me and the whole team.”

— Adapted from “How to Give a Meaningful ‘Thank You,’” Mark Goulston, Harvard Business Review,