Thanking someone for all of their hard work is trait not only a project manager should practice, but anyone and anytime someone is helping you out. A simple thank you can go a long way and can help motivate others to continue to work and help you out in the future. There are several ways to thank others, such as:
1) Verbally: Take time to say “Thank You” to someone in person. It just take seconds to minutes to do, but can make someone’s day by having someone recognizing their hard work. It is important when thanking someone to let them know what you are thanking them for.
2) Hand-Written Card: In the age where we receive several electronic correspondence and bills via snail mail, it is rare that a person receives a personal, hand-written thank you card in the mail anymore. I personally really enjoy receiving hand-written cards in the mail, as they mean so much to me that someone would take time in their busy lives to write a letter and show their appreciation for me. This is an added touch when interviewing for a job, to send a thank you, as it makes you stand out from other applicants and shows that you are interested in the position.
3) Phone Call: If you may not be able to verbally thank someone in person, picking up the phone and talking with them, hearing their voice brings a personal touch. With text messaging and e-mails, many people are not as interpersonal, as in the past.
4) Food/Drinks: Taking time out of your day and take someone or your team out for lunch or coffee gives those you are appreciation a small token for all their hard work. Also, the fact that you are taking time to get to know the person you are treating to lunch or coffee show you care about them and gives a personal touch to the thank you. I enjoy baking in my spare time, so I often bring in little goodies to my co-workers and those helping me out. This shows my appreciation of working with them, but also I am able to have lots of taste-tasters so I can try tons of new recipes out.
5) E-mail/Text Message: In our busy lives, taking time to e-mail or send a text to someone is much appreciated. I rather see someone in person or hear their voice on the phone, but e-mail or a text is easier in our hectic, technology-driven lives.
6) Meeting/Awards Recognition: Taking time during your meetings to thank those for their hard work and/or having a department awards recognition event lets others know what each other’s contributions are to help motivate the entire team.
7) Small Gifts: Another option outside of verbal or written thank you’s to show appreciation could be surprising someone with flowers or Starbucks Card or something that individual enjoys. For example, I enjoy baking, so I was given a big cookie baking pan from my department as an appreciation gift. Please note, a verbal or written thank you means more than nothing at all, so it is not necessary to purchase a gift to show your appreciation, as I value hearing words or reading correspondence that comes from the heart, than receiving a gift, but an option.
It is important to let others know what they mean to you and how they have impacted your life. Honestly, our time on earth is short, so you don’t want to leave people guessing how someone’s help or how they impacted your life, as you never know when it will be too late. Think about someone or several people in your life that has helped you and take time to thank them, as it will brighten one’s day and make both of you feel good.