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Demonstrating thankfulness for our colleagues and team members is an important part of being a great leader; it builds positive working relationships and a healthy organizational culture. We hope you find inspiration for expressing your own gratitude during this season and all year long.


November is traditionally a season of gratitude here in the U.S. We take time to appreciate the abundance that so many of us are fortunate to have and give thanks for our family and friends who share it with us. It is also important to find and express gratitude in our work. Leaders especially know that nothing is accomplished in a vacuum. Without valued colleagues and team members we would be hard pressed to achieve our goals. Here are six ways leaders can go beyond a generic “thanks” to express gratitude to their teams.

1. Celebrate Success

When you’re grateful for the work that someone does, share their success and contributions with others in your organization. Whether it’s mentioning them and their efforts in a team meeting, posting an employee spotlight in the company email, or inviting them to discuss their project highlights at an executive-level meeting, celebrating others and their role in your business communicates appreciation and value.

2. Champion Others

Advocating for your colleagues and team members is one very strong way to communicate your appreciation. When you stick your neck out for someone on your team, suggest their ideas to your associates, or recommend them for advanced training or promotion, it’s a sign that you see them as an asset to your team and organization. Speaking up on their behalf is an impactful way to thank them for their effectiveness and dedication.

3. Dive Into the Details

Many of us are quick to say a general “thanks” or “great job” or drop a “thanks for all you do” at the end of an email, but we often don’t go into detail. Including specifics in your expression of gratitude demonstrates that you noticed all the facets and finer points of their work, allowing people to feel truly seen. Recognizing all the ways they’ve excelled and the specific ways their performance has impacted you and the business makes your gratitude more personal and carries more weight.

4. Support the Team’s Well-Being

Great work often gets rewarded with… more work. It’s natural to want to assign more projects to those who excel at what they do, and that is a compliment in its own way, but team members will feel more appreciated when they know you prioritize their overall well-being. Giving people space between major initiatives and balancing the work over the long-term can be an important way to show that you value their quality of life and want them to be happy and whole as well as contribute to the company’s bottom line.

5. Involve the Team

An easy way to encourage more gratitude is to make it a regular part of the team’s agenda. By adding a gratitude component to your team meetings, developing an employee recognition program, or creating other ways for colleagues to recognize each other’s efforts, you create a culture that exemplifies the importance of not taking others and their work for granted, while also showing that great ideas and great work can be found everywhere.

6. Allow for More Discretion

Nothing communicates trust and value more than giving people more discretion in their work. By allowing a team member to have more choice and exhibit more creativity in how they approach the work, create their project plans and champion new initiatives, you let them know you believe in them and their potential for success. Offering more freedom and flexibility is an excellent way to thank them for their accomplishments and commitment to you as a leader and the future of the business.


Looking for ways to show gratitude for members of your team or organization? Contact us to discuss the best solution for you to invest in them. One of the best ways executive leadership and organizations can show their appreciation to employees is by helping them to become better leaders. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as providing leadership development opportunities, and implementing team-building activities. By investing in their employees and helping them to develop their self-awareness and leadership skills, organizations can help foster an environment of growth. This kind of appreciation not only boosts morale and engagement levels, but it also helps employees to be more effective in their roles, allowing organizations to better achieve their goals. Bell Leadership offers a number of leadership training solutions for individuals and organizations. CONTACT US