As a new manager, you must understand how and why you should be showing your team appreciation. Everybody has a desire to feel seen and heard, and if you can fulfil this need by showing some appreciation, your team will feel happier in their roles and want to continue achieving outstanding results.
There are so many ways to show genuine appreciation to your team that don’t involve grand gestures. I hear a lot from new managers that they don’t make any gestures of appreciation because there is no budget for gift cards, fancy gifts, or adding a monetary appreciation gift to their paychecks.
While I’m sure anyone would love to receive those things, they are not the only way to express appreciation to your employees.
If budget is what has held you back in the past from showing appreciation, I want to challenge you to some outside the box thinking and find other ways that you can show gratitude.
I am going to list a few team appreciation ideas to help get your ideas flowing. There are many ways for you to express appreciation without spending a dime.
First, let’s get back to people needing to be seen and felt heard. If you meet these desires, then showing appreciation to them will hit just right and come off as genuine. If you are not making any effort to fulfill your staff’s need to be seen and heard, your efforts to show appreciation will not land right.
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This may seem obvious, but 55% of employees say they have not heard those two simple words thank you, from their manager.
You may think that you have been saying thank you this whole time, but have you been actually saying it out loud to your team members?
It’s one thing to think or just assume that a thank you is implied, and it’s a whole other thing to actually say the words, thank you.
It may seem awkward if you have never expressed gratitude openly to an employee before. Maybe you don’t know what to say, and you are afraid of coming off as not being genuine, so you end up not saying anything at all.
I have a couple of suggestions for you to use.
When a team member goes above and beyond
“Thank you [name] for always stepping up and being willing to do what needs to get done. I want you to know that I saw how you _________. These things matter, I know you might think it’s small, but it created __________. Thank you again!”
When times are tough
“Listen, [name]- I know things haven’t been easy as of late with _______, but I just want to take a moment to thank you for showing up and giving your best on those tough days. I know it’s hard, but just know it’s not unnoticed, and I truly appreciate you.”
When a team member implements your guidance
“[Name], I’ve been super impressed by your ________ recently. I can see that you are making tremendous improvement with ___________. Keep up the great work.”
When a team member displays a behaviour that is fundamental to team success.
“[Name], that right there was a fantastic example of __________. We should all make it a goal to more of ___________.”
This type of appreciation really solidifies how much that person’s effort counts. Hearing thank you from your manager is great but hearing it from a customer is a whole new level of appreciation.
Every time your team gets positive feedback from a client, be sure to relay that back to your team. Especially if the feedback is about specific employees, they need to hear the positive feedback. It can make them feel appreciated, and reinforce that what they do matters.
Taking some time to celebrate work anniversaries and stretch goals is important.
If you have created a real and meaningful relationship with your team members, you should know their goals and look for ways to celebrate their milestones.
Don’t wait until they hit the end of a big goal; celebrate the milestones between the start and finish. You want to show them that you are genuinely happy about their progress and that every milestone reached is worth a celebration.
As I mentioned in the introduction, you don’t have to spend any money showing someone that you notice that they are doing a good job and appreciate them. Schedule a fifteen-minute time block once a week to write out thank you notes. It can be a short note like, ” Hey, you’re awesome, here’s why you are awesome, and keep up the good work,” or something to that effect.
Small gestures go a long way in letting people know you see them and appreciate everything they do.
This is great for 1-on-1 meetings to show a team member that not only do you appreciate them, but their teammates also notice what a great job they are doing.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as easy as saying something like, “Hey, Jenny said she really appreciated that you did x, y, and z, and I was so happy to hear this, and here’s why.”
This can go a long way in speaking to our core need to be seen and heard as humans. It feels good to know that not only your manager sees you doing a great job, but so do others.
Make it a habit to ask your team for the positive feedback about their teammates, and then relay that feedback to the person it is about.
Showing team appreciation doesn’t have to be another expense. While everyone loves a good gift card, they also love to hear what a great job they are doing.
July 7, 2020