By Vivian Bricker, Crosswalk.com
Thanksgiving is known to be a time of thankfulness and gratitude. With the holiday season approaching, there is no better time to show your coworkers that you are thankful for them than now. After all, coworkers help make work more enjoyable and they can offer encouragement when we are feeling stressed by the pressure of our job responsibilities. Here are five unique ways to show your coworkers you are thankful for them:
1. Express Thankfulness
This might sound basic, but it is vitally important to express thankfulness to your coworkers in words. You can do this by simply saying “thank you” (Susan M. Healthfield, “Top 10 Ways to Show Your Appreciation to Employees,” The Balance Careers, 2020). A simple “thank you” can go a long way. When a coworker assists, helps, or gives constructive feedback, you should reply with “thank you.” This should never be said in a sarcastic, negative, or fake tone, but a coworker goes out of their way to help you, the right thing to do is verbally recognize their aid.
These two simple words demonstrate to your coworker that you value them and you appreciate their contribution to the team. You and your coworkers form a dynamic team. Team members must always remember to say “thank you” because it expresses gratitude to each other. It can be easy to get in a rush and completely forget to say “thank you” after a coworker helps you, but you have to be intentional. This does not cost any money and it takes very little time. You may even want to go further than a simple “thank you” and tell them especially what you are appreciative for. You could thank them for helping you with the extremely long report that was due before 10 a.m., or you could thank them for simply being a great coworker. Trust me, your kindness to others in the form of saying “thank you” will go a long way and may even cause your bond with your coworkers to become stronger.
2. Host a Thanksgiving Party
Before you get overwhelmed with the idea of throwing an entire Thanksgiving party for your office, hear me out. Each coworker could prepare a certain dish and bring it to the office on a set day when everyone has decided it will be a good day for the office to have a Thanksgiving party. If each person brings a dish, nobody will be overwhelmed with the idea of cooking tons of food. Disposable plates, napkins, and silverware are ideal in order for a no-hassle clean-up. You could send out invitations saying “A celebration of thankfulness to everyone on the team.”
This holiday party would be focused on expressing thankfulness for each other and a ton of good memories could come from a Thanksgiving office party. You could implement traditional Thanksgiving foods, such as turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, or you could ask each coworker to bring a unique cultural dish that their family used to cook when they were growing up. If that doesn’t seem interesting to you, you could try a Charlie Brown themed Thanksgiving meal with popcorn, pretzel sticks, and buttered toast. Whatever you plan, make sure you express thankfulness to your coworkers and ensure they know the party is in celebration of them.
3. Handwritten Letters
Maybe you are an introvert like me and the idea of throwing a party or even talking at times can be intimidating. If so, you could hand write thank you letters and cards to your coworkers (Lena Schmidt, “5 Ways to Show Gratitude in Your Workplace,” Chopra, 2019). When you hand-write notes and cards, make sure you are specific as to why you are sending them a thank you card (Lena Schmidt, “5 Ways to Show Gratitude in Your Workplace,” Chopra, 2019). Personalize each card and hand-write a special message to them. (Avoid sending out generic cards to your coworkers because it would give the idea that you are just sending out thank you cards to send them out.) Take the time to intentionally write each letter and card with the purpose of informing the recipient of the card of how thankful you are to have them as a coworker.
Handwritten letters and cards last a lot longer than a simple spoken “thank you” (Lena Schmidt, “5 Ways to Show Gratitude in Your Workplace,” Chopra, 2019). While saying “thank you” is highly encouraged as I listed above, a handwritten note will last a great deal longer as written letters are less likely to be forgotten than a quick “thank you” (Lena Schmidt, “5 Ways to Show Gratitude in Your Workplace,” Chopra, 2019). If you are artistic, you could even decorate the cards or place them in whimsical envelopes. Whatever you choose, make sure you do not forget to put your own personal touches on the letter. Also, never forget to have the correct address and a valid stamp on the card unless you are passing them out at work. If you are passing out the thankful notes at work, make sure you write one for each coworker present because if you fail to write a certain coworker a thankful note and everyone else receives one, the coworker who did not receive a card would feel left out and isolated. It is the season of gratitude and thankfulness—do not be the person to cause a coworker to feel unwanted on the team or inferior to other workers. The Bible tells us to not show favoritism (James 2:1). Treat everyone the same and extend thankfulness to all of your coworkers.
4. Give Your Time and Energy
You can express thankfulness to your coworkers by giving your time and energy to help them. Acts of service to your coworkers will extend your own personal thankfulness to them (Lena Schmidt, “5 Ways to Show Gratitude in Your Workplace,” Chopra, 2019). Some ideas of acts of service could be driving your coworker home after work if their car is in the repair shop, or you could do some extra work in the office order for your coworker to get off early so she can pick up her kids from school (Lena Schmidt, “5 Ways to Show Gratitude in Your Workplace,” Chopra, 2019). The ideas are limitless when it comes to showing thankfulness in your actions. Your kind acts toward your coworkers will certainly brighten their day and definitely be a good way to live out your Christian walk in your daily life. God wants you to help others and show your thankfulness to them. By expressing gratitude to your coworkers, by giving your time and energy, you will be serving as the hands and feet of Jesus.
5. A Surprise
A fifth and final idea to show your coworkers you are thankful for them is by bringing in a little surprise (Susan M. Healthfield, “Top 10 Ways to Show Your Appreciation to Employees,” The Balance Careers, 2020). This does not have to be an expensive surprise, such as a fully catered three-course meal, but rather, a simple surprise will be perfect. You could personally bake cupcakes, cookies, or another sweet and leave them out for your coworkers (Susan M. Healthfield, “Top 10 Ways to Show Your Appreciation to Employees,” The Balance Careers, 2020). By providing the sweets and telling them thank you for their work throughout the year, it will make your coworkers feel deeply needed and loved at the workplace.
These five ideas are a few ways you can show thankfulness to your coworkers this year. You might have your own ideas of how you are going to show thankfulness to your own coworkers. No matter what you decide to do, make sure your coworkers know how thankful you are for them. I’m sure they are pretty thankful for you too!
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/fizkes
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.