We often put a huge emphasis on our personal relationships. Having a strong support system is important to our emotional well-being and satisfaction in life, but often, in the pursuit of personal relationships, we’ll forget about and neglect our professional relationships. While remaining professional and keeping a reasonable distance from your boss and colleagues might seem like the natural thing to do, forging friendships with the people you work with can benefit your career. When your colleagues view you as friendly, reliable, and generous, they’re most likely to give raving reviews of you to the higher-ups and rely on you for information and aid, which can lead to you taking on bigger and more important projects. Apart from the professional benefits, having friends at work can enrich your life in other ways. Maybe you’ll find a new best friend! The easiest way to form relationships at work is to show your fellow colleagues that you appreciate them. Let’s look at some simple ways to express gratitude to your colleagues, so you can start forming professional relationships that are just as strong as your personal ones.
Give Them a Gift
Is one of your coworkers a huge fan of those fancy, colorful gel pens? Why not get them an extra set? Do they have a special event coming up? You can get them a plaque, an award, or another item to commemorate the occasion. When it comes to food, the most traditional type of gift is donuts for the entire office. If you know someone has been craving a specific snack, however, you can make them or buy them something as a kind gesture. Maybe their favorite brand of chips was out of stock at their local grocery store, but you were able to find a few bags at yours. It might seem shallow to buy your colleagues’ friendship with gifts, but gift-giving doesn’t have to be an inherently empty gesture. When it’s done with the right intentions, it’s one of the best ways to show gratitude for the people around you.
Voice Your Thanks
Sometimes, all you need to do to show your gratitude is walk up to someone and say, “Thanks!” A heartfelt show of verbal appreciation can mean a lot to a colleague, especially when you make it as specific as possible. Instead of giving a brief, generic thanks, make it clear what you’re thanking your colleague for and why you appreciate what they did. If your coworker Jennifer helped you with a tough project, you can say to her, “I just wanted to thank you for helping with my presentation, Jennifer. I was really struggling with the one concept, but the way you explained it made it so much easier to understand. I also appreciate the advice you gave about organizing my bullet points. I couldn’t have done this project without your knowledge and kindness!” This example is much more specific. It tells Jennifer about her best qualities and the kind of positive impact she has in the workplace in a way that’s direct and sincere.
Support Their Career
Another simple way to express gratitude to your colleagues is to support their careers. Email your supervisor and let them know about your coworker’s unparalleled work ethic and contagious positivity. Did they bring up an excellent idea at a team meeting? Voice your support. If they need help with a project and you have plenty of time to spare, why not offer a helping hand? Your colleagues will notice your unwavering support and do their utmost to return the favor.