10 Impactful Ways To Authentically Thank Employees

10 Impactful Ways To Authentically Thank Employees

It’s no secret that happy employees yield better business results. There’s a lot of research indicating customer satisfaction and loyalty rise when employees enjoy their jobs and workplace. They go hand-in-hand. As leadership expert Simon Sinek says, “Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.

Research shows (work.com):

“69% of employees work harder when they feel appreciated.
79% feel motivated when recognized.”
“51% of workers are recognized once a quarter.” I’ve been in organizations where it’s more like once per year. 

I know that creating a great company culture does not happen automatically or overnight. It requires intentional design and ongoing focus. As Thanksgiving approaches (and beyond), take time to express gratitude. It’s in your control!   


10 Authentic Ways To Thank Employees:

  1. Send personalized thank-you notes. Recognize your staff for delighting customers.
  2. Do something that shows your team they matter. If you don’t know what that is, simply ask.
  3. Invite teams to an Executive meal (virtual works) based on results & positive customer feedback. 
  4. Publicize awesome work. Compliment individuals & teams on the company website.
  5. Enable people to recognize each other. Gamify experiences. Tie prizes to customer value.
  6. Send small gift or balloons to top performers & those with Y/Y improvements.
  7. Buy lunch for people resolving customer issues daily i.ecustomer service reps. survey team, etc. 
  8. Create a CEO video message thanking employees for creating customer promoters.
  9. Offer a bonus or day off to those who routinely demonstrate customer excellence.
  10. Feed employees and show up. I’ve seen Executives literally serve happiness at employee Thanksgiving lunch.

For more inspiration and actionable ideas, watch my interview with Ryan Estis. His true stories will touch the core of your heart as he beautifully portrays a Starbuck barista, Lily, who “pours happiness” every day.

You’ll appreciate my interview even more by watching I’ll never forget that cup of coffee. Play it at your workplace and discuss it as a team as you’ll get people engaged and motivated to show up as their best selves.

Doing CX Right Reminders:

  • Small acts of kindness go a long way. “People may forget what you said or did, but never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
  • Employees are your heroes. If they don’t feel important, your customers will feel it.
  • Don’t wait for formal end of year reviews. If you’re not appreciating employees throughout the year, your competitors will. They’re searching for great talent.
  • Don’t overthink it. Thank people everywhere i.e. meetings, LinkedIn “kudos” posts, etc.
  • Be empathetic and sincere. Employees know when managers are “checking a box.” 

Employee Satisfaction and DoingCXRight Source: Ashley Johnson


What do YOU do show appreciation in authentic and meaningful ways?  

Check out >Doing CX Right®‬ podcasts for more inspiration and actionable tips about Doing Customer & Employee Experiences Right.

Doing CX Right podcast show on Spotify with host Stacy Sherman
Doing Customer Experience (CX) Right Podcast - Hosted by Stacy Sherman
Doing CX Right podcast show on iHeart Radio with host Stacy Sherman

What Drives Customers Loyalty? (Hint: It’s Not Price)

What Drives Customers Loyalty? (Hint: It’s Not Price)

 The smallest gestures by frontline employees can have a significant impact on customer loyalty and the decision to buy again and again.

I was reminded of this when purchasing clothing at a department store recently. Upon bringing my items to the register, the kind woman asked questions about my day and overall shopping experience. I was surprised by our first interaction as warm greetings don’t happen frequently enough. 

Besides a pleasant dialogue when first meeting, my experience got even better. The lady scanned each item and noticed that none of the clothes were on sale. She asked me if I had any promotional offers but unfortunately, I did not. She proceeded to explain that customers who have their store credit card receive discounts, and offered me the option to sign up for immediate savings. I declined and was prepared to pay full price for the items.

At that moment, the woman reached into her drawer and took out a coupon to apply to my purchase. She saved me $25. Although it was not a significant amount of money, it was a highly satisfying moment. I did not expect her to provide me any discount especially since I declined the credit card offer.

I thanked the woman twice and told her how much I appreciated my purchase experience ALL BECAUSE OF HER. I continue to be a loyal customer and tell others to buy from the store because of one person who INTENTIONALLY went up and beyond for me.

Customer Loyalty Lessons:

  • Empower frontline employees. They impact customer experiences a lot! Support your staff to do what’s right for customers without having to ask management permission for every detail. Recognizing employees who create exceptional experiences is essential too. When employees are happy, customers see and feel it.  Here’s a perfect example to demonstrate my point.
  • Do the basics right. The mere act of employees saying “hello” and good-bye” is an easy way to delight customers and leave a lasting impression. I especially love when company owners / CEOs greet customers. (Read my Woodloch story).
  • Make it EASY to buy. “More than half (52%) of online buyers said they stopped shopping on a brand website due to bad site experiences.” (Merkle study). I highly recommend conducting user testing with real customers in the pre and post-launch stages, and measuring level of effort” as part of your CX practice. NPS is useful but even more so when combined with other metrics.
  • Focus on creating great experiences from onboarding to transaction completion. 66% of consumers care more about the experience than price when making a brand decision. And, they are looking for long-term, connected experiences that are as EFFICIENT as they are enjoyable.” 


Which brands excel at creating customer loyalty?

I’m interested in hearing examples of when a company employee went above and beyond to make your buying experience a memorable one. How did you feel?

Did you purchase again because of that experience, even when you could buy somewhere else for a better price?