Appreciating your coworkers is a great way to build strong relationships in the workplace. I often feel appreciative, but I find it’s hard to make that appreciation known — especially when I’m busy or under pressure or stress.
But making appreciation known can reap big rewards, both in building relationships and in making you feel more positively engaged in the community of your workplace. And those benefits are especially important when times are tough.
To help me get better at being a more appreciative coworker, I’ve started scheduling and tracking the practice.
Find a way to block out regular time for appreciation, like writing notes or sending emails. This can look like building appreciation into normal rituals (my coworker Jeff brought a ritual of gratitude into a recurring sync meeting). Or it can be a recurring event on your calendar to focus on recognizing or appreciating coworkers.
When I feel tempted to delete or postpone this appreciation block “just this once,” I try to remember how good it feels to receive a nice note from a coworker. And I think about the satisfaction I get from building relationships. Investing in these relationships is a way of thinking long term; it definitely pays off.
Each Friday, I think about who went out of their way to do something for me that week, and I consider whether I’ve appropriately thanked them. This has helped put me in the mindset of always looking for ways I can show people that I appreciate what they do for me. Also, if I can find a way to track and see improvement in my appreciation, I’ll enjoy it more.
I’ve used these strategies to make it easy and a priority for me to show appreciation for my coworkers, and I hope they can inspire you too. Making my coworkers feel valued has given me a new level of satisfaction with my work. Additionally, it’s helped me build relationships with my coworkers.
For more inspiration, read how my coworker Elaine has made a habit of regularly expressing gratitude with handwritten thank-you notes. The post also includes tools and a template for writing a great note.