If you’re like most people, when you put in the hard days at work, achieve fantastic results and go out of your way to be a supportive, positive and engaged part of the team, you like to have your efforts recognized and appreciated. Many companies are quite focused on this aspect of corporate culture these days, so it’s likely you do get to enjoy some type of rewards for your work throughout the year.
However, have you ever stopped to think about how your boss, business partner, or investor is feeling? While employees get to feel good when their efforts are acknowledged, it’s not very often that those at the top of the corporate ladder get the same kind of appreciation.
If you want to maintain great relationships with all the people you work with and for though, it is important to “spread the love”. Read on for three key steps you can follow today to ensure your boss, partners, angel investors or other key higher-ups are supported and noticed for all that they do.
Say Exactly What You Mean and in a Timely Manner
First off, if you want to show appreciation in an effective way, it makes a huge difference if you say exactly what you mean. By being direct and specific about what it is you’re thankful for, you will come across as more genuine, and avoid seeming to be a suck up who is simply gushing unnecessarily. When communicating how you feel, speak from the heart instead of saying what you think you should say. Do try to be concise too, so that you don’t end up waffling on, which can dilute your message.
When communicating praise or acknowledging someone, always make sure you explain why exactly you’re grateful. For example, find a way to show the connection between the actions the person took or words they spoke which assisted you, and how this helped you or gave you a lift in some way. By doing this, it will be clear that you really understand the value of what you received, whether it was the chance to learn something new, a workload that was reduced, the facilitation of a career opportunity, or something else.
Being timely in your appreciation pays too. If, for example, you wait weeks or even months before saying thank you to your boss for helping you in some way, it can seem like you are being insincere and perhaps only saying something at the time because they have prompted you, because someone else told you to, or because you want help with something else.
Choose the Best Methods to Showcase Your Gratitude
Next, when it comes to showing your gratitude, be aware that the method you use is important too. If you want to say thank you with words, it is best to do this in person wherever possible, or else in a handwritten note that you take time to carefully express. You can also pick up the phone for a more personal touch if you can’t be there in person.
If you choose to present the person you’re appreciative of with a gift, treat or some kind of favor, this also needs to be done carefully. For instance, don’t buy any expensive, over-the-top presents that a person on your salary could not easily afford. This can make it seem like you’re trying too hard or are making up for something. Instead, search for appropriate Thank You and/or Boss’s Day gift ideas which are within your budget, are tasteful, and suited to the personality and interests of the person involved.
Other ways you can go about showing your appreciation to your boss include going out of your way to help at work in some capacity (e.g. you could offer to assist with a big new project or stay back to help them complete a task that’s on deadline); presenting them with an award you and other employees have designed; or ask them to join you for a coffee or lunch where you can chat and bond in a relaxed way.
Make it Obvious You’re Not After Something in Return
Lastly, one of the most important factors involved in showing appreciation to a boss is ensuring it doesn’t seem like you’re making an effort simply because you want something in return, or think you will get something from others for doing so.
For example, don’t just say thank you to your manager when you’re in a group of people (particularly a group that includes their boss), where it could come across like you want to get the spotlight shone on yourself or ingratiate yourself with someone even higher in the pecking order After all, you’ve probably been in a situation at least once where someone at work has brought up their own achievements in a group by way of thanking another person. They might have said something like “If it wasn’t for your help I could never have landed that big contract”, as a way to highlight their own accomplishments. This looks opportunistic and strategic, rather than like genuine appreciation, and should always be avoided.