A blog about reputation, marketing and employee morale.

The Number One Way to Say Thanks on Employee Appreciation Day

Posted by Janet Smith on March 3, 2016

This Friday is Employee Appreciation Day — it’s always the first Friday in March.

There are many ways to show employees that they are appreciated — lunch, an appropriate gift or a gift card, time off, a bonus check, flowers, their favorite candy or cookies or other treat, a training class or workshop they will find really interesting, tickets to a sporting event or performance you know they’ll love…these are all wonderful (just make sure you choose something that the employee will love, not something that you love!). While giving the gift, tell them much you appreciate them, and some of the reasons why. Face-to-face is best, of course.

(If you have read this far and think it’s silly to spend time thanking employees, remember that “not feeling valued/appreciated” is consistently one of the top reasons why employees leave a job. And many more who don’t feel appreciated stick around…but just show up to work and do as little work as possible. See more stats at the end of this post.)

I’d like to offer another way to thank employees that they will love, and will make them feel special and valued for their contributions: a heartfelt thank you note. The note can stand on its own, or accompany a gift. A thank you note is appropriate to give on Employee Appreciation Day, as well as any other day of the year.

I’m offering you a quick, easy, fun way to write a personal thank you note to an employee (or to a co-worker, boss, leader — anyone…). But first, a few more thoughts about thank you notes.

Thank you notes that are handwritten are even more special. It’s rare to receive a handwritten note, and it’s something that people love and something that people typically save. And you must agree — an emailed thank you note isn’t nearly as likely to be printed out and tucked away for safe keeping and posterity, as is a handwritten thanks.

At some point after a bonus check is spent, food is enjoyed, a book has been read, or a baseball game has been attended, those things will be all but forgotten. But many people (probably most people, though I have no scientific proof of that) save special cards that they receive for years and years. Many thank you  notes are probably saved forever!

SO….some years ago, I created a FILL-IN-THE-BLANK WORKPLACE THANK YOU NOTE that I’ve used dozens of times with participants in my training and coaching classes, workshops, and team-building sessions. Everyone always loves it, because this thank you note provides four sentence starters (because starting the sentences is the hard part!). Just complete the four sentences, and you’ll have a thank you note that expresses why you think so highly of the recipient.

I guarantee that the receiver of this note will smile and feel valued, appreciated, and very pleased (if not extremely happy and joyful!). Take a look and please use this easy template as a guide for saying thank you on Friday…and many other times throughout the year.


And on the topic of appreciation…thank you so much for reading my blog! I am sincerely grateful for you!

 — Janet

PS: In case you’re interested, here are some workplace research stats on the subject of employee appreciation:

  • 79% of employees don’t feel strongly valued for their work. (TINYpulse)
  • 65% of U.S. workers say they weren’t recognized for their contributions in the past year. (OC Tanner)
  • 39% of employees feel underappreciated at work, and 77% said they would work harder if they felt more appreciated. (Globoforce)
  • The top 15% of companies that make it a priority to recognize and appreciate employees experience 46% fewer voluntary employee resignations, and 12-15% improvements in overall employee performance. (Deloitte)
  • 57% of human resource professionals working for companies that introduced co-worker recognition programs reported increased levels of employee engagement. (Society for Human Resource Management)


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  1. Brian Agnes

    Nice post. Sometimes, it’s the easy, free — but often forgotten things managers can/should do to simply express their “thanks” to their team members. This is a good reminder to all. Brian

  2. Janet Smith

    Thank you, Brian! It’s wonderful to hear from you, and I’m delighted you’re still following my blog. I hope you enjoy using the fill-in-the-blank thank you note — your employees will appreciate being thanked today (Employee Appreciation Day) and every day. :)