Thank You Ideas: 25 Low-Cost Ways to Recognize Employees

By Kevin on March 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

Saying thank you, a simple way of making someone feel appreciated, is one of the top three drivers of employee engagement. The best news is that showing appreciation doesn’t have to cost a lot of time or money. Here are 25 no or low-cost thank you ideas for your colleagues.


1. A sincere word of thanks costs nothing and is very effective.

2. Post a thank you note on their door in their honor.

3. Throw a pizza party or cake party in their honor.

4. Create a simple “ABCD” card that are given when someone goes “Above the Call of Duty”.

5. Write about them in a company-wide email.

6. Give a long-lunch, extra break, or comp time.

7. Honor them at the start of the next staff meeting (recognize someone at the start of every staff meeting).

8. Post a “thank you” sign in the lobby with their name on it.

9. Gift them flowers, a book, or other small gift.

10. Invite them to a one-on-one lunch.

11. Give them a card with lottery tickets inside.

12. Give them a card with movie tickets inside.

13. Give them a card with Starbucks gift certificate.

14. Have the entire team sign a framed photo or certificate of appreciation.

15. Arrange for a boss several levels up to stop by to say thanks.

16. Send a thank you note or gift basket to their spouse.

17. Arrange to have their car washed.

18. Arrange to have their home cleaned.

19. Let them bring their pet to work.

20. Buy a dozen of donuts and announce to the department that they are in the honorees office, they should stop by to say hi and get one.

21. Feature them in the company newsletter.

22. Pick an unusual or funny object and place it on their desk for a week.

23. Let them dress casual for a day.

24. Have entire team honor them with a standing ovation at the start of the next staff meeting.

25. Offer to swap a task with them for a day or week.


Kevin Kruse is a NY Times bestselling author and keynote speaker. His new book, Employee Engagement 2.0, teaches managers to turn apathetic groups into emotionally committed teams. Get exclusive leadership advice and more from his newsletter at

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