How to Show Your Employees You’re Thankful

Show Employees Thankful

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., everyone gets a bit reflective. What are the things we’ve accomplished, and what are we thankful for?

If you’re running a business, one of the things you’re most thankful for is your employees. A core belief here at GoSmallBiz is this: teams win, individuals lose. None of us are able to succeed alone, and we all need other people. Those include employees, partners, and even supportive friends and family.

So what can you do to show your team that you’re thankful for them? The good news is that you don’t have to break the bank. There are simple things you can do that can make a real difference.

Taking the extra effort to show your appreciation matters for many reasons.

For one thing, it helps to build your company’s culture. A positive company culture is remarkably valuable for improving performance and delivering a better experience to customers. Good customer service starts with the internal customer, your own team!

Another benefit is particularly relevant in our current economic situation. In the middle of “The Great Resignation,” as more and more companies are struggling to hold onto their current employees, or find replacements for those they’ve lost, anything you can do to increase loyalty and decrease turnover can make a huge difference! An employee who can see that their hard work is noticed and valued is more likely to stay, giving you improvements to continuity and productivity.

So with all that said, here are three easy things you can do – among many others! – to demonstrate your thanks to your team!

Share Recognition

First up is something you can do at no cost whatsoever. Recognize your employees publicly for the great work they’re doing!

You’ve likely heard the saying “Praise in public, criticize in private.” It holds very true here. You should be doling out public praise over the course of the year, but you might try once a year to do something to recognize all of your employees individually.

This will depend on the number of employees you have, of course, but consider gathering everyone together and going person by person, sharing something about that individual. Recognition should be personal, something specific and meaningful, not just the same generic praise given to everybody. You can talk about personal attributes that help them succeed in the workplace, or about specific instances where they did a good job.

In larger companies, or if it’s not possible to gather everyone at one time, you can still do this in groups, whether it’s you as the business owner or team leads taking charge of giving recognition.

Host Team Events

Another straightforward way to express thanks to your employees is to host a team event. Being able to take a break from the grind and celebrate together is an effective way to show your team that they are more than just the work they do; they are people who you value.

This could be as simple as bringing in a nice lunch for the team at the workplace, or you could take the team elsewhere, whether just out for a meal or for a more elaborate outing in the area. There should be options for any budget. Find something that will allow you to include everyone, since the whole point here is to send a positive message to your employees.

Give Gifts

Finally, don’t forget an obvious alternative: giving gifts! There are a few different ways you could go with this option.

Many companies find that the easiest solution here is to give the same gift to everyone, often a piece of company-branded swag. It can be accomplished quickly, and maybe even with some cost savings from buying in bulk. When you go the branded route, it comes with the added bonus of putting your company’s name more out into the world. And the larger your team, the more convenient this option becomes. But there are some downsides to this approach, too. First, a gift that is more about you the giver than about the recipient will make less impact. Also, by giving a standard gift, it may be more useful to some individuals than others. An unneeded or unwanted gift is not much of a gift at all, and may end up being thrown out or given away, rather than perceived as a true expression of gratitude.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can give personal gifts to each individual. On the plus side, an individualized gift will more likely be appreciated; you are able to give something that fits the individual. Recipients will recognize the time and effort involved to find something just for them, as opposed to a more generic gift. You demonstrate your appreciation for each person, showing that you not only value what they do, but know them as people. However, this option definitely requires a significant investment in time. And it comes with a warning, to make sure that you budget your gifts fairly. The last thing you want is for a token of thanks and appreciation to turn into frustration over perceived favoritism.

There are many ways that you can show your thanks to your team. Whether you use one of these, or a different option, make sure all of your employees know that you value them and everything they do!


GoSmallBiz offers small business consulting, CEO advice, and an extensive online learning center for small businesses and entrepreneurs. The mission of is simple – to improve the lives of its customers and give them a better chance at success. The GoSmallBiz business specialists have hundreds of years of combined business experience in both private and public companies, and represent all major industries and professions, including CPAs and specialists in finance, sales, marketing, HR, IT, and operations.