June 29, 2021 — 8 min read
15 employee appreciation messages (and 5 GIFs) to say thank you
Hemant Pandit
Marketing Manager

A simple ‘thank you’ can have a huge impact on someone’s day. 

In fact, research has shown it’s not just the person being thanked that benefits, but even people witnessing the thank you too.

Want to build a culture of thankfulness and public praise? Here are some ideas on how to get started.

5 ways to say thank you for excellent work

Has someone delivered a particularly outstanding piece of work, or got some great results? Letting them know you noticed will encourage them to keep it up.

1) Direct praise

You don’t have to overthink it – cut straight to the point.

E.g. “The work you did on that report was really impressive. Excellent job!”

2) Second-hand praise

Knowing people are saying nice things is always lovely to hear, so be the bearer of good news.

E.g. “A lot of people are saying incredibly good things about your work – keep it up!”

3) Data-backed praise

Taking the time to reference a specific stat or insight about their work shows that this thank you is just for them, making it all the sweeter.

E.g. “42% over target for the month! That’s an incredible achievement – well done.”

4) The next-step encouragement

Don’t just say thank you – why not use it to springboard people to reach even greater heights?

E.g. “You did so well with the presentation last week. Have you ever considered doing more public speaking? You’re a natural, and I’m sure we could find some opportunities for you…”

5) Recognizing the personal

We aren’t just workers, so recognizing that someone can be delivering results even with other things in their life shows you not only understand work/life balance, but appreciate them all the more for it.

E.g. “Between juggling parent duties to Holly and James and adopting that new puppy, I honestly don’t know how you continue to perform at such a consistently high level – but you do! Truly inspiring.”

Want to say “thank you” to a coworker with a gift card? Check out the 10 best gift cards for employee rewards. 

5 ways to say thank you on a work anniversary

Fact: Job hunting increases 9% around work anniversaries. 

Simply taking a moment to recognize someone for all their work on their anniversary can help to boost the odds that they make it to their next anniversary with you.

1) First anniversary

An employee’s first year is a big milestone, so recognizing it can help them to feel like a big part of the team, rather than still being ‘new’.

E.g. “Happy anniversary David!! You’ve achieved so much in just a year and I can’t wait to see what you achieve next. It’s amazing to have you on the team.”

2) Killed it at the interview

Many people are nervous in interviews, so a personal note about how well you remember them coming across can be a lovely gesture.

E.g. “I remember your interview like it was just yesterday. You wowed me then, and you’ve continued to do so every day since.”

3) When they’ve been there longer than you

Manage someone who’s been at the company longer than you have? The same structure can be flipped to keep it relevant.

E.g. “Your knowledge and experience were truly invaluable when I started, and have continued to be ever since.”

4) A milestone year

Is an employee hitting a particularly big anniversary? Recognizing it (and specifically knowing how many years it is) can showing them you care.

E.g. “Five years! The company is lucky to have you as part of the team, and I certainly am.”

5) How much they’ve grown

Reminding someone how far they’ve already come as part of the team can help them picture how far they could go with you.

E.g. “Watching you grow has honestly been one of the real privileges of my career.”

Want to offer employees a specific reward on their work anniversary (or, better yet, let them choose for themselves)? Get started with employee rewards.

5 ways to say thank you at any time

A thank you shouldn’t be reserved for the big things. A culture of smaller, more regular thank yous can help people feel part of an organization that really cares.

1) Thank you for your team spirit

People respond to encouragement, so take the time to praise behaviors you want to see more of. They’re more likely to stick at it if they know it’s noticed.

E.g. “I wanted to say a huge thank you for being such a source of optimism in the team – it makes such a difference to have you here.”

2) Thank you for going the extra mile

Attainment is great, but sometimes recognizing the effort that got them there is just as important as praising the result.

E.g. “Thank you for staying late last night to finish that report. You went above and beyond, and I really appreciate it.”

3) A heartfelt thank you

Business people are still people. Being sincere, and maybe even showing some vulnerability, can be a really powerful way to show how grateful you really are.

E.g. “This has been a tricky time for a lot of people – myself included – so I wanted to thank you for all the support and the can-do attitude you’ve brought.”

4) Thank you for showing leadership

When people step up (in the right way) it should be recognized, encouraged, and rewarded.

E.g. “I’ve noticed just how much the wider team look up to you, and how you always take the time to support them. I know they appreciate it, and I wanted to offer a big thank you – from them and from me.”

5) Take nothing for granted

Ultimately, all these thank yous boil down to one thing – showing someone that they’re appreciated. So, sometimes it pays to just cut to the chase.

E.g. “Because you’re consistently achieving such incredible results, I can often forget to take the time out to fully say thank you. So I wanted to send a quick note to let you know all that hard work is seen, and very much appreciated.”

5 multi-purpose GIFs to say thank you

A picture is worth a thousand words, and sometimes the right GIF at the right time can say even more.

Here are my five favorites to get you started:

The Nod: 

Proud Of You Reaction GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Thanks dude: 

Michelle Tanner Thanks GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Fist bump:

Boom Pound It GIF by TipsyElves.com - Find & Share on GIPHY

Nailed it: 

Awesome Celebration GIF by Slanted Studios - Find & Share on GIPHY

Keanu thumbs up:

Keanu Reeves Thumbs Up GIF by Lionsgate - Find & Share on GIPHY

Need something more than just a kind word?

A culture of employee appreciation creates an atmosphere of trust, gratitude, and mutual support. It helps to bring out the best in people.

But, sometimes, it’s nice to go beyond just words (or GIFs).

It pays to give people a little something to show that their effort is appreciated. But, building a system to give individual rewards, getting them signed off, ordering them, and delivering them… it can be a lot of work.

Thankfully, that’s where WeGift can help.

Find out how you can instantly send employees gift cards of their choice (and save up to 25% on face value). Get started with WeGift rewards today.