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Did you know that more than a quarter of us (29%*) feel undervalued in our current role?

Today is World Gratitude Day which is observed every year on 21st September.

It’s possibly one of the lesser known ‘international days’ which we see popping up on our social media feeds, despite its start dating back to 1965.

The purpose of this day is to “foster feelings of appreciation, positivity, worthiness, and connection, which can create a ripple effect of benefits for everyone involved”.

This is an ideal we can all relate to, including in the context of the workplace.

With a significant proportion of our time being spent at work, either in the office or working remotely, expressing and receiving gratitude can have a real impact on company culture, working environment, engagement and retention. 

Did you know that more than a quarter of us (29%*) feel undervalued in our current role? It turns out that, in many cases, the simple act of a manager taking the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ could be enough to demonstrate value, keep them happier in their jobs and help retain good people.

But how do we go about it? Personally, I like a public display of gratitude, especially if clapping and cheering is involved, but the same isn’t true for everyone. I have a colleague who finds the whole concept of being thanked publicly so horrifying that she has raised it in her one-to-one.

This got me thinking about how different Team Roles say ‘thank you’…


You say thank you here and now, while it’s relevant. Job done. No big deal.

Top tip – think first. Is this really the time and place?

Monitor Evaluator

You most likely wait, consider whether gratitude is duly warranted, and then offer thanks in a dispassionate way – no emotion involved.

Something to consider – by taking time, have you lost the moment?


Hmm, maybe you were lost in your own thoughts and didn’t notice that thanks were needed?

Lightbulb moment – ask a trusted colleague to give you a ‘heads-up’ as to when you need to be more ‘in the moment’.


No doubt you’re a natural at this. You’re empathic and perceptive enough to ascertain what is needed – and when.

Just to note – don’t overdo the ‘thank yous’ – you don’t want them to lose their meaning.


You’re most likely to offer gratitude for help that coincides with what you’re interested in, or working on.

N.B. – to avoid being seen as insular, ensure that you recognise the importance of all contributions to the work at hand.


You’re adept at uncovering hidden talents in the team and getting the best out of people – this includes figuring out how they like to be thanked.

Top tip – don’t delegate the thank yous to another member of the team!

Resource Investigator

You’re likely to be effusive with your thanks – when you remember – and able to find just the right words to make people feel good about themselves.

Watch out, though – because of your natural enthusiasm, others may doubt your sincerity. Show that you mean what you say.


Drawn-out celebrations of achievements get in the way of getting things done, right? Much quicker to send a group email. Reply all was made for this.

N.B. – saying thanks isn’t about efficiency, it’s about recognition. Take the time to thank people individually and sincerely.

Completer Finisher

You probably spend time listing each person’s accomplishments in detail and embellishing the card you send.

Top tip – recognition is important, but others will be ready to move on to the next challenge. Don’t gild the lily!


So go on, give us that warm and fuzzy feeling. What’s the best ‘thank you’ you’ve received, and why was it special to you?

* Research carried out by The Institute of Leadership

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