I strongly believe that project success depends on a project team more than on any other factor. Knowing that good project managers do everything possible to motivate their teams, remove any impediments which get on their way, and set people up for success. Good teams in return dedicate as much effort as possible to achieve the necessary outcome. And this dedication should definitely be appreciated accordingly. In this article, I will try to list out the best ways to thank the team for their great job.
Just say “Thank you”
This is the easiest, but yet underused way to express gratitude to your team. Everyone wants to feel that their work is appreciated and sometimes the simple “thank you” is enough to show this appreciation and make the team members feel valued. Don`t withhold your praise for some special case. Even if your team members have done something common that was expected from them, they still deserve gratitude.
Organize a team building event
Team building event is a good opportunity to celebrate some milestone that your team has achieved. Such events if planned and organized well can significantly improve team mood and camaraderie.
Bring pizza to a meeting
Pizza is a safe bet if you want to “bribe” your team. If you have to host a meeting in which your team members are not very keen to participate or if you need to stay overnight for some overtime work, a couple of pizza boxes will definitely improve willingness to work.
Bring chocolate (sweets, fruit)
No special occasion is needed for sharing some chocolate, fruit or sweets with your team. In fact, this seemingly tiny act of kindness can make a huge difference in your team attitude and motivation.
Ask stakeholders for a letter of gratitude
Every person wants to feel that they are doing valuable work. This understanding improves self-esteem and self-actualization. It is definitely a pleasure to get positive feedback from you as a project manager, but it is a double pleasure to get appreciation from someone who is at the top of the project, in particular, the client, the key stakeholder, TOP manager, etc. If you have a feeling that stakeholders are happy with the project progress or outcome, ask them to send a letter of gratitude to the team.
Organize a remote office
Remote office means that the whole project team goes to some nice place on the Earth to work from there for a while. This practice is in high demand among IT specialists who can work remotely. I bet that if you suggest such an endeavor to your team, it will be highly appreciated. But you must understand that doing a remote office is a very challenging move which poses a lot of risks. Do you have enough budget to organize such an event without a negative financial impact on your company? Do you have enough resources to repeat it later, the next year? Are you able to organize working facility in a way that doesn`t break the team work effectiveness? These are the questions you should answer before trying to please your team with a remote office event.
Care about your teammates
If you care not only about employee’s performance at work but also about employee’s personal life, it will be much appreciated. Even simply asking how they are doing will make them feel to be cared of.
Share Kudos cards
Giving Kudos cards is another way to show your appreciation to your teammates. These cards emphasize the contribution of your team members to overall project success. I know that many teams have a successful practice of using paper kudos cards, but you can also share these cards on LinkedIn, which is an easier and more valuable way of doing this from my perspective. First, LinkedIn has some templates for these cards and its other benefit is that many more people beyond your team will see that you value some person.
This is just a short list of those ways to thank your teammates that have come into my mind. Please, share in the comments how you express gratitude to your colleagues.