For many folks, it’s quite normal to show gratitude with a bouquet of flowers. It’s a timeless and classic kind of gesture, after all. Everybody likes flowers, surely! They look great, they smell great, and the gesture is more or less universal.
It may not occur to us, but there are also other ways to demonstrate appreciation and gratitude to others. These can be used in conjunction with flowers if you feel like it but can stand on their own too.
The things that stand out to people in connection to gratitude are usually the personal touches. Recognition between two people is the basis of any gesture, so keeping an eye on important dates can mean a great deal.
Knowing little details like significant anniversaries or milestones can reach across the formality of the workplace. Folks are often initially surprised and then genuinely touched when we let them see that we notice things like this.
The safest route here is to limit these to work-related milestones, but in certain cases, it may be a good idea to acknowledge others too. Commenting briefly on a wedding or college graduation can lift people’s spirits tremendously.
A big area for the personal touch is ensuring that you express gratitude directly. If a coworker has done something useful or accomplished something difficult, make a point of thanking them directly in an unambiguous way.
There are two general ways of going about this, and it depends on the specific person. If the achievement is a rather big one, it may be appropriate to make an event of it. However, some folks don’t enjoy a big fuss, so a private word may be preferable at times.
The crucial bit is the recognition itself. It’s that moment where person X lets person Y know that they are aware of some particular action or effort and express gratitude. However it’s transmitted, that’s the specific goal to have in mind.
The particular kind of gift to offer someone will depend very heavily on the sort of person they are. Some people appreciate humorous gifts, such as jokey slogans on mugs or teeshirts, while others might not.
A lovely bottle of wine or whiskey could be on the mark for some of your colleagues, but many other people seldom drink, if at all. The trick here is precisely around the personal touch.
By this approach, you are doing two things at once. You’re presenting someone with something while simultaneously demonstrating that you know what they like. It’s actually the second element that is the more meaningful of the twin gestures.
For example, if you become aware that a lady in your office collects porcelain frogs, that would be your way in. A relatively cheap and simple gift of a miniature frog could make her day or even her week! It’s the personal angle, every time.
People like to be heard. This is as true of quiet people as it is of loud ones, so it really makes a difference when we listen properly. It’s true that time is often a challenge in work environments, but it takes less than you may think to pay attention.
In all the hustle and bustle of the working day, try taking a moment to be attentive to a colleague. You may find that it works wonderfully in both directions, and you may also discover that the shy fellow in the corner is more interesting than you realized.
Work is challenging, and this is a good thing. It’s great to be busy and to fill your day with tasks. The thing is, we sometimes get so ensconced in the grind that we forget that we’re all just ordinary people with ordinary feelings.
Taking the time to genuinely connect with others, however briefly, has the power to bring real positivity into your environment. The realness of human care and concern can break through the workaday veil, to the person on the other side.
In the end, this is not about being touchy-feely. Reaching across to other people makes the workplace a better space for everyone and can have advantages. Happy colleagues are also likely to be productive ones.