Saying thanks – in person, in meetings, in notes and on your company intranet – is important especially for cultures who value people and empathy.
But it goes beyond just people-friendly cultures.
There’s one word in the English language that humbles us, encourages us, validates us, inspires us, connects us and makes us feel appreciated. That word is: thanks. We want to hear it. We want to read it.
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. – Oscar Wilde
We all want to be thanked in our personal lives when we do something nice for someone. Thank you cards, a quick email and a quick phone call all accomplish the goal of appreciating someone.
It’s important in professional settings, too. It’s especially important if your organizational values include caring; then it should be part of your everyday. In fact, executives should be demonstrating this skill to their employees.
Tips when saying thanks
It takes little time to thank someone, but during the hustle and bustle of the day, we can sometimes forget to thank people. If you feel you won’t remember, jot down a note, add it to your calendar, or set up a reminder to ensure you thank people.
When thanking people:
- Be specific
- Be personal, including calling people by name
- Acknowledge effort
- Acknowledge the results
Example: Thanks, Mary! I really appreciate that you took the time to train our whole team on the new guidelines. I know you spent about four hours doing so. That means we’ll all be compliant and I didn’t need to take the time to do it. You’re a real asset to my team and our company.
Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart. – A.A. Milne
Ideas on how to thank people on your company intranet
You should say thanks regardless. What’s most meaningful is institutionalizing saying thanks. How do you make sure you’re also saying thanks to remote employees? Use your intranet. It’s the perfect place to curate thank yous as well as give people the recognition and rewards they deserve.
- Create a Wall of Fame or recognition area where peers can recognize people throughout the company and thank them.
- Provide thank you cards online to enable employees to complete a thank you card and send it someone.
- Spotlight employees in your online news, thanking employees for a great job and linking them to your brand and values – behaviors you want to demonstrate to all employees.
- Have on-the-spot awards that can be printed or given from your intranet.
- Include video of your executives thanking employees. We include executives in videos for onboarding new employees, but many times it’s the last connection an employee has with a leader.
- Provide a place for every team and department to thank employees.
- Enable people to share social comments on your intranet, thanking employees even using hashtags, such as #thanks and pinging fellow employees to say thanks.
- Enable employees on-the-go to thank others, ensuring your remote workers and those without desks can thank fellow employees. Mobile intranets can easily equip your organization to handle appreciation.
- Integrate with systems to record recognition and include it in employee reviews. The customization may be worth it.
- Let customers using your external website thank employees, enabling that recognition to show up on your intranet.
Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. – G.B. Stern
Thanking people takes so little time and it’s worth the effort, especially as the effort is minimal. When your organization is regularly thanking employees, you’ll see employee engagement continue to increase as well as byproducts such as improved productivity, better customer service, higher quality products, a safer work environment, and more.Go beyond your intranet. Start a systematic change at your company, introduce ways to improve employee engagement across your organization.