Thanksgiving in America is coming up this week, a perfect time to start thinking about showing appreciation and thanks to coworkers in the lab or in the workplace. Even outside of the United States, as we approach the end of a tumultuous year, it would do us all good to contemplate how best to show those around us that we are thankful. It is in times such as these that coming together with the people around you can make all the difference. Even the smallest of gestures can let those around us know that we are all in this together, and our colleagues can sometimes be left out in favor of closer family and friends. Let us try and show everyone in our lives, even if currently we only get to see them over the occasional Zoom call, that we appreciate them being there.
With the current safety guidelines still in place across most of the globe, a friendly hug or handshake, which may have seemed appropriate way back in 2019, now much be eschewed for other methods of showing thanks. While gift-giving is an excellent way of showing appreciation, financial setbacks during the year potentially rule it out, so we must look for other methods:
- Make sure to actually say “Thank you”! Such a simple and obvious gesture, especially when being specific, can be just the thing that a colleague needs to hear. Make sure to let them know why you are thanking them, rather than a simple thank you. If they have done something to help or just gave their time for a meeting, let them know why you are grateful.
- While the holidays can sometimes seem as though they are a never-ending buffet, with only a short break in the beginning of December to digest, food is another great way to show appreciation. If you are one of the people that are back in the office, or if you never left, baking treats for your team is always appreciated. While safety precautions such as individually wrapping goodies might be prudent, this still remains one of the best methods of giving thanks. Have you ever known anyone to turn down good food?
- Offer to help out. This can be a year-round method of showing your coworkers you appreciate them, but especially during the holidays when people are busier than ever, offering to help out a colleague with one of their tasks so that they can pick up their kid, or make an appointment, can make or break someone during these stressful times.
- Thank you cards! A common method of giving thanks, but one that has seemed to decline in a digital world, a thank you card just for being a good coworker or friend can be a good way to express yourself. Just like actually saying thank you in person, being specific about why you are thanking them makes the card that much more special.
No matter how you choose to show your gratitude to those around you this year, being kind and understanding about the hardships that every person has gone through in this historic time is the real end goal.
Let us know your favorite way to give thanks in the workplace!
Written by Justin Brown