Every workplace should have an employee thank you program.

Why start an employee thank you program? Because it has been proven that employees need it. Recognition and appreciation can significantly impact employee morale and engagement. A Glassdoor survey showed that over half (53%) of employees indicated that feeling more appreciated by their boss would make them stay at their current company.

There are many reasons to spread thank you like seeds everywhere you go.

  • Improved Retention: Appreciation can lead to lower turnover. Studies have shown that employees who feel valued are less likely to look for other opportunities (revunit.com).

  • Enhanced Productivity: Thank yous can motivate employees. When employees feel their work is recognized, they are more likely to maintain that level of performance and strive to do even better (zapier.com).

  • Positive Work Environment: A culture of appreciation creates a more positive work atmosphere. Thank yous can help build trust and camaraderie among colleagues (The Importance Of Saying Thank You In The Workplace).

Here are six key steps toward an effective employee thank you program.

Reward the Right Behaviors

For a successful employee thank you program, your initiatives should reward behaviors that you want to see continued. Too often, well-meaning companies implement recognition programs that don’t resonate with employees. Be sure to work with senior management to make sure everyone is clear about the company’s mission, values, and goals. Afterwards, identify simple, meaningful actions that help your business live its mission and reach its goals in the everyday.

Involve Management and Diverse Employees in Program Design

Find out employees’ preferred recognition and what incentives motivate them best. Learn through surveys or focus groups. Then, between a team of management and employee representatives, identify both the behaviors you’ll reward and how to recognize them!

Incorporate mechanisms for managers to thank staff both formally and informally through peer-to-peer employee recognition and employee thank yous to management. Don’t forget on-the-spot recognition!

Develop an easy way for your workforce to provide ongoing feedback so you can adjust the program as needed.

Announce Your Employee Thank You ProgramMake your thank you program known to everyone!

Use multiple communication channels to tell employees when the program will launch and include goals, design, participants, and importance. Consider sending a letter from your CEO or program executive with an invitation to a kickoff that gets everyone excited!

Use email and bulletin boards to increase awareness, then hold a kickoff meeting to explain how the program works. Provide snacks and possibly a small gift for each employee. Make the presentation high energy to build excitement and include examples of when and how people might thank each other. Allow plenty of time for employee questions and suggestions.

Lead by Example

Top management support is critical for the success of an employee thank you program. Senior managers should look for opportunities to show appreciation often and visibly both to individuals and teams. Keep this up, and you’ll create an organization-wide culture of appreciation!

Keep Your Program Fresh

Employee thank you initiatives lose their sparkle after a while. To refresh your program, create a recognition task force that reviews employee feedback and recommends program adjustments and new rewards. Your once-delighted employees will be delighted once again!

Follow Expert Advice

To learn more about building a vibrant, everyday culture of employee thank yous, download our FREE eBook, “Transforming Your Workplace with Gratitude.” You’ll be amazed at how easy it is!

Learn More About gThankYou Certificates of Gratitude:


Top Photo by Matt Jones on Unsplash

Microphone Photo by Claudia Raya on Unsplash

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Step 1

Order Certificates

Choose the gThankYou Certificates you want and order them online or by telephone.

Step 2

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Your order is delivered by UPS. Nearly all orders ship the day received. Overnight shipping is available.

Step 3

Distribute to your employees

Personalize your gThankYou Certificates with Giver name or logo (both optional) and give them to employees.

Step 4

Redeem at any grocery store

Recipients redeem Certificates at major U.S. grocery stores and select the items they want.