21 Kind Ways to Show a Thank You to Coworkers

Author's profile picture
Alexander Georges
Author's profile picture
Lydia Chamberlain
February 11, 2020

Why should you say thank you to your coworkers?

Every worker has good and bad days, but a few take time out of their day to make sure your day is going well or that you have what you need to do your job better.

If you have a coworker who has shown you some kindness, maybe you can show some kindness back. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. There are so many ways to do it!

Not only does this kind of behavior make people feel good, but it can also make for an awesome work environment where coworkers are known to support each other. That attracts other like-minded individuals to the company, creating a sort of ripple effect.

It only needs to start with one act of kindness to change the culture of the workplace.

So here are 21 kind ways to show a thank you to your coworkers.

1. Bring in some yummy treats.

A couple of cookies or some baked brownies will bring people in from far and wide. They’re a great way to show someone appreciation, and nothing says thank you like something sweet. If you can make the treat yourself, then extra brownie points!

2. Watering their plants.

Offering a coworker to water their plants is a very small but selfless gesture. If you volunteer for this, you’re sure to put their mind at ease when they’re out of the office trying to enjoy their vacation.

3. “This reminded me of you” gift.

Whenever you see something at a store or online and you immediately think, “This reminds me of him/her,” then get it for them! It doesn’t even need to be over $10 to have meaning.

4. Make something hand-crafted.

A personalized gift, even if it’s not the most amazing looking thing in the world, in of itself says thank you because it shows that you put in the time and effort to do something for them.

5. Share their successes with others.

Not every nice act has to be seen by the coworker. Singing someone’s praises when they’re not around builds up their reputation and costs you nothing. So give it a try!

6. Sit with them at lunch.

If the coworker is new and had trouble making new friends, then join their table or ask them to join yours. And yes, it is a little bit like high school all over again.

7. Say good morning with a smile.

This one doesn’t even cost you words. A simple smile can set up the mood for the rest of your coworker’s day. It might make your day too!

8. Relieve them of an annoying task.

Does your coworker have something coming up that you know they really, really don’t want to do? Try volunteering to do it for them! People always appreciate someone lifting a weight from their shoulders.

9. Take them out to lunch.

Everyone eats, right? Well, ask your coworker if they’re busy for lunch and then say that you’d like to take them out for lunch as thanks for them helping you out. Just make sure to plan at least a day ahead so they don’t already have their lunch with them.

10. “You said you lost this?” gift.

Sometimes, people lose something they like or use a lot. If your coworker mentioned that they lost something, surprise them by buying them another one!

11. Lend them a book.

It can be a work-related book or something entirely outside of work. If you both share a common interest, share a book with your coworker and you can talk about it afterward.

12. Play a card game.

Who doesn’t love card games? Well, except your boss when you’re playing during work hours…but try playing a game with your coworker during your lunch break. Some friendly competition never hurts!

13. Buy them a drink from the vending machine.

The next time you go to get yourself a coke pick-me-up, just pick up an extra for your coworker. It’s a small gesture, but it’s still a nice one to give!

14. Go for a drink (after work, of course).

Did someone say happy hour? You can buy your coworker a beer and just unwind. Hear what’s going well and what isn’t. This is a good way to get to know them if you haven’t talked that much before, but it’s also a good way to just have fun if you do.

15. Ask them if they need help with anything.

If you’re not sure how to show your appreciation, then simply ask what you can do for them. Most people are polite and say they don’t need anything, but you never know if they’ll be something on their mind that they could really use help with.

16. Give them a word of encouragement.

If you do this, be sure to be specific. Don’t just say, “You’re doing great!” Say something specific like, “I thought it was really smart how you designed that feature using both qualitative and quantitative information.” That lets your coworker know what exactly they should be doing again with the added bonus of making them feel good.

17. Joke around with them.

If you’re comfortable enough around your coworker, then try making some jokes with them. Every office has something that’s worth joking about. If there’s nothing that ever goes on in the office, you can even make a joke about that!

18. Prevent them from making a mistake.

This might take some foresight, but your coworker might be new or have missed a detail on a project and is heading into a wall. Kindly let them know what you see and, if possible, help them correct their mistake.

19. Clean out the fridge.

If you want to do something nice for everyone in the office, then you can clean out the nastiness that’s in the fridge. Be brave and be sure to wear a mask, because you never know what you’ll encounter. And when you’re done, you’ll come back a hero.

20. Stop a nasty rumor from spreading.

It’s very easy to start a rumor, but very hard to stop one. While we as humans tend to get that dopamine rush because of gossip, it can very harmful to other people. If you hear a nasty rumor being spread about your coworker, let others know that it’s probably no one else’s business other than that person’s.

21. And simply…say thank you!

Nothing says thank you like saying thank you. If you choose to be direct and simple tell your coworker thanks, be sure to be specific on what exactly you’re thankful for. It’s the least you can do, right?

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