Saying "thank you" to your staff doesn't have to be difficult, time consuming or expensive. The simplest way to express your gratitude is to do so verbally or with a quick email. You can also make simple, no-cost changes around work to reward your staff or go all-out with some methods of thanks that have an associated cost.
Saying Thanks Is Free
You don't need to thank each staff member for every minor task she performs; excessive gratitude can make the sentiment appear hollow. When a staff member shows extra effort, ambition or performs an exemplary job, go beyond simply muttering your thanks to delivering a phrase that stands out. Expressions of gratitude that stand out include, "Thanks for doing such an excellent job. You're always very dependable"; and "Stellar work. Your ability to perform your job makes you a true asset to this company."
Follow Up by Email
Following up your verbal expression of thanks with a short email helps reinforce your appreciation for your staff member. Notes of thanks don't have to be long; two or three sentences saying thank you and explaining why you appreciate the staff member's contributions or attitude are enough to firmly express your point. Many effective notes of thanks include a reference to the future at the end of the note. In a work context, you could write, "Can't wait until you land the next big client." Carbon-copy the company president or board of directors on the email to show the employee that you're recognizing his work to your superiors.
It's possible to make a number of changes to the workplace that convey your appreciation for your staff. Give the staff members the ability to work flex hours; doing so can also contribute to a happier staff. Other simple methods of expressing thanks include creating an employee-of-the-month display to recognize someone whose contributions were especially notable, temporarily giving the best parking spot to a staff member who stood out, arranging a casual-dress day, or sending a company-wide email about your staff's accomplishments.
Ideas With a Cost
If your company has the budget, you can express thanks by opening the company's piggy bank. Give gift cards to restaurants or gas stations to staff members who stand out, order pizzas or subs for an appreciative Friday luncheon, or order high-end coffee and breakfast snacks to enjoy during a morning meeting. Paid days off, raises, gym memberships and a team-building activity away from the office are also ways to say thanks. You can pay to send a staff member to a training session or leadership conference. Doing so has a double benefit; the employee feels appreciated, and you get a higher-skilled staff member.