11 Sincere Ways to Say Thank You

UPDATED: May 25, 2023
PUBLISHED: November 21, 2016

In today’s workplace culture, perks like free food and gym memberships are nearly expected, and not just as ways to reward your team for a job well done. But not all tokens of appreciation have to be monetary.

For leaders, expressing simple yet sincere gratitude boosts team morale, reduces turnover, increases productivity and helps set the overall tone and culture of your organization. And typically, happy employees lead to a successful business.

Related: 10 Thoughtful Ways to Give Thanks to Your People

As part of YPO’s 10 Minutes From the Top podcast, members of Young Presidents’ Organization shared how they show their teams appreciation—11 ways you, too, can say thank you to the people in your life:

1. Tell people “well done.”

It’s a great thing to say. It’s sincere and meaningful.

—Fred Crosetto, founder and chief energizing officer of AMMEX Corp and AMMEX iSupport

2. Express gratitude.

Say thank you; treat them like friends; talk to them face to face; call them by their names; make them feel part of the company and part of the family.

—Simon Cohen, CEO of Henco Logistics

3. Show compassion.

Achieve a compassionate mindset and live that in everything you do, especially in small ways.

—Mitch Presnick, founder, former chairman and CEO, and current board director of Super 8 Hotels China

4. Be in the moment.

Don’t hesitate. Be honest and appreciate them.

—Asha Saxena, founder and CEO of Future Technologies Inc.

5. Make it public.

Beyond thanking them, it’s about calling them out publicly to thank them.

—Asheesh Advani, president and CEO of JA Worldwide

6. Be authentic.

People know whether you are telling the truth and being sincere, and that is the greatest compliment you can pay to someone. Be open.

—Dick Simon, CEO of RSI Inc., founder of kNOwTHEM Initiative

7. Write a note.

Regularly send a random note to different employees acknowledging their great work and recognizing them.

—Rosa Scarcelli, CEO of Stanford Management

8. Listen.

When I’m touring the store, I’m listening to their comments and ideas, and just showing them that even if we are strict about behavior, we still care and love genuinely.

—Christine Sfeir, CEO of Meeting Point (Dunkin’ Donuts Lebanon) and Treats Holding (Semsom)

9. Get personal.

Take an interest in their personal life, appreciating their performance and appreciating who they are.

—NK Tong, managing director of Al Batha Bukit Kiara Holdings

10. Make time.

Make time for them. I always have activities outside of the office.

—Charles Edouard Barthes, chairman and CEO of EviDenS de Beauté

11. Realize their value.

Treat them as equals. In today’s world, the knowledge and wisdom on what’s best for the company lies with the team.

—Adam Riley, founder and managing partner of Rockjumper Birding Tours

Related: Top of Mind: 6 Ways to Make Others Feel Appreciated 

YPO is the premier chief executive leadership organization in the world, representing a global community of leaders committed to the shared mission of becoming "Better Leaders Through Lifelong Learning and Idea Exchange." YPO today provides more than 24,000 members in more than 130 countries with access to extraordinary educational resources, alliances with leading institutions, and specialized networks designed to support their business, community and personal leadership. Altogether, YPO member-run companies employ more than 15 million people around the world and generate USD6 trillion in annual revenues. For more information, visit www.ypo.org.