At Work

Employees want to feel valued, regardless at which level within an organisation, everyone wants a pat on the back or some sort of appreciation. What’s important to note, is that not everyone in the team would want the same sort of appreciation.

Many people leave jobs because they didn’t feel valued and sometimes we only realise the value of their contributions only when it’s too late.

The following are just some ideas and are not limited to ways of expressing appreciation;

Simply say thank you: it’s unbelievable how effective this is!


Say a meaningful thank you to an employee/subordinate for work they have done; be specific about what you are thanking them for as this will show that you have acknowledged their effort. For some, this may work in front of the whole team, but there may be others who would prefer a one-on-one thank you, so look for cues for preferences.

In writing

  • Send an email to thank the person and/or team for a job well done, not for work that’s expected of them but when they go the extra mile
  • Write a “thank you” on a sticky note or little card and place at their desk
  • A public “thank you’ on a notice board
  • A public “thank you” in a newsletter


  • Give them time off – an extended lunch break, flexi hours or a day off
  • Provide lunch – a lunch voucher for an individual or a team braai
  • Breakfast with the boss
  • Movie voucher
  • Shopping voucher
  • Dinner voucher
  • Spa voucher
  • Corporate gifts – mugs, caps, jackets, t-shirts, stationery, etc.
  • Certificate of appreciation

At Home/Loved Ones

During dating, we are very good at doing things to impress that special someone, but as time passes by and you get more and more comfortable with each other, these acts of kindness somehow slip away. You get into a routine and take each other for granted. Never underestimate the power of these two words “thank you”… here are some simple ideas to express your gratitude…

  • Make your partner tea or coffee or his/her favourite drink if it’s something that you usually don’t do
  • Help with household chores that is not your responsibility
  • Make them breakfast or lunch or dinner
  • Offer to do errands for them when they are very busy
  • Buy them flowers or chocolates
  • Simply tell them “thank you’ – make sure there is eye contact and a smile and even a hug if you’re the hugging type and they are too
  • Bake them a cake or biscuits
  • Give them a gift card
  • Take them to dinner or a picnic
  • Treat them to a live event, e.g. sports event, music concert, theatre event
  • Prepare a bubble bath, add some candles too
  • Send them an email or sms or you could even write them a love letter
  • Give them your time – undivided attention
  • Treat them to a weekend away if your budget allows or on a holiday money is not an issue
  • Go shopping for them and buy things they would really like – you would need to pay attention for this one
  • Treat them to movies
  • Compile a music playlist for them to listen to during traffic

Take the time to learn and understand people or that special someone. It’s no use saying thank you just for the sake of it. It has to be meaningful.  Know what would add value, what will work for one person may not work for someone else.  It just takes a little effort and thought but it will go a long way as it is a wonderful feeling to feel appreciated for your efforts and to have people in your life who doesn’t let that go unnoticed.

It does not even have to be monetary, a simple “thank you” can go a long way.

10 Replies to “Simple ideas to appreciate someone”

  1. Great tips. I this fast pace world people do forget to appreciate and say thank you. I sometimes get so caught in work that I forget to appreciate my husband. Thank you for the tips.

  2. This was one of the things I hated when I worked for others, they never appreciated your work. I think it’s very important to let employee’s know and feel appreciated. Great tips! Thank for sharing

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