The Anatomy of a "Thank You"

There are few things as simple and as powerful as the act of saying “thank you.” Studies have shown that daily gratitude benefits individual mental and physical health while also improving organizational health. In fact, research by Harvard Business School and Wharton showed a 50% increase in productivity when frequent appreciation is given in the workplace.

While a ‘thank you’ is enough to make someone’s day, here at Kudos, we’ve seen that our most successful clients tend to follow a recipe for giving recognition to team members. Follow this recipe to start giving amazing recognition today:

Anatomy of a Thank You  

Express Gratitude & Appreciation - The first step in a ‘thank you’ should immediately show the level of gratitude. The range of recognition could go from appreciating a thoughtful gesture like bringing in cookies for the office to recognizing an act that benefited the entire organization like speaking at an event or presenting a webinar. Your first sentence could start with any of the below example options:

“Thank you…”

“It really made my day when…”

“You did an amazing job at…”

In the Kudos application, we’ve created The Currency of Recognition®. The Currency allows users to determine the level of gratitude or recognition that you want to give, without relying on a point value to show your appreciation. For more information on the Currency of Recognition, visit

Be Specific - Details highlight the value of the action, strengthens professional bonds, and increases the likelihood of the action being repeated. Everyone loves to be recognized for their contribution, big or small, and they’ll appreciate the spotlight on their actions. We’re all a little curious, so when gratitude is given, we want to know why and we want to know all the details.

Describe the Impact - Let the recipient know how their contribution affected you or the organization. The goal of this step is to provide perspective on the breadth of their actions. When you’re in the moment, you may not realize the full effect of your contribution and it’s even harder to gauge in larger organizations so be sure to highlight how a small act can have big results.

Connect to Values - Tie three or four of your organization's values to your message to highlight how that individual is living the organization’s culture. This has the added benefit of keeping those values at the top of the minds of your team members. Employee experience platforms like Kudos make this easy by providing a built-in selector for your organizational values whenever you send recognition.

Deep Dive - Once you’ve tied corporate values to your employee recognition program, you can begin measuring your culture and changes in your culture quantitatively. Book a call with us, and we’ll show you how to do it!

Try following this recipe the next time you give recognition and see for yourself how effective it is to give more meaningful appreciation. Better yet, get your entire team or company onboard with giving better recognition - you’ll see an incredible difference in your organizational culture and performance.

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