a small plant with a thank you note

This month I got a knock at a door from a job seeker. See, he just started his new job and he had to drop by with a small gesture of thanks – a card and a box of chocolates. What a pleasant and unexpected surprise! This does not happen to me often, but why not?

Gratitude has been linked to many positive emotions and long-lasting fulfillment. Research indicates that there is “an association between gratitude and an individual’s well-being.” Moreover, 93% of people agree that grateful bosses are more likely to succeed.

Colloquially, it is the foundation of politeness and basic manners; both are now believed to be more endangered than the French language. I digress.

As a leader, gratitude is just as important. Top leaders who have shown appreciation and thanked their teams have always had higher engagement and performance scores.

Whatever your rank, here are some ways you can use gratitude to level-up your career.


Thank your interviewer

After your interview, take a few moments to send the hiring manager and the HR/recruiter (in CC if you wish) an email thanking them for their time. It does not need to be three-paragraph letter – just a few sentences to express your appreciation for the opportunity given to you. HR professionals agree that time and time again, this sets candidates apart, and it’s the most overlooked gesture.

Thank a co-worker

You are not an island. Throughout our day-to-day, we have folks who help us in different ways. Take a moment and let someone in your office know that you appreciate them – their professionalism, their help, their approach… pick a topic. Odds are, you’ll make their day! Bonus tip: make it a weekly task in your calendar.

No expectations

When you offer gratitude, don’t expect it to be reciprocated. The positive tone you set with the simple act of offering gratitude is contagious… and inspiring. It’s a sign of vulnerability and strength, acknowledgement and humility. It rubs off on people and gives your reputation a big, positive boost! Don’t worry, the good vibes will find their way back to you.

Hand-written notes

Hand writing is not dead. If you want to score some extra brownie points, make it a hand-written thank you note. Sending someone a card has shown to carry great meaning because you have taken time out of your day to pen a card – as opposed to mere seconds to type out an email and click send. Your appreciation is evident through the amount of effort you put towards showing your gratitude.

Personalized gifts

I’m not talking about an engraved chalice, so listen up. Leaders have the inside track to the people who make up their teams. When it comes time to thank one of them, make sure your gesture is appropriate and relevant. For example, if your employee has a child, consider gift certificates to a local family-friendly attraction like the botanical gardens.


If we’re being honest, there is no shortage of ideas for thank-you gifts. Where there is a will, there is a way – so make sure your will is ever-present and let gratitude open doors for you.

What do you do to show your gratitude at work?

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