Being grateful for something or someone shouldn’t be viewed as weakness. Humans are social beings, and a lot of our deep relationships are based on a connection that exchanges something for something else. Even when the other person doesn’t expect anything from you, having a grateful mindset benefits the relationship.

Yet gratitude can come in many forms, and how it impacts others differs as well. Here, 13 members of Young Entrepreneur Council speak about how to show your gratitude in simple ways to your co-workers, employees and friends, and explore what effect this has on your relationship with them.

1. Take the Time to Say ‘Thank You’

Honestly, just take the time to say “thank you.” And take the time to tell them why you appreciate them at that particular moment. Even better, write them a letter or note. Too often we equate gratitude with gifts, and what people really want or need is to hear that they are contributing and they are valued. It’s super simple, but it keeps motivation high.

Britt Fero, PB&

2. Show You Respect Them

Respect them. There are many ways to love someone, and it differs from person to person. But what really stands out in all loving relationships is the respect for each other. They’re human beings with talents, knowledge, passions, hopes and dreams. They also have their flaws and insecurities too. How would you want to be treated?

Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

3. Offer Unsolicited Positive Feedback

Sending a quick text message that says something like “Thanks for everything you do!” shows people that you are thinking about them and value their contributions. Unsolicited positive feedback can lift someone’s mood, increase motivation and build loyalty. In a world where we are all busy and stressed, it’s important to feed your team with positivity, whether it be a professional or personal team.

Josh Awad, Flywheel Commerce

4. Be Specific in Your Gratitude

Too many times leaders give vague thank yous or express gratitude in a group setting for everyone involved. It means so much more when the gratitude is expressed to individuals and in specific ways. Instead of just “thank you,” try “thank you for…” and then share exactly why you are grateful for that person!

Diego Orjuela, Cables & Sensors

5. Appreciate Their Wins

We tend to be thankful when someone has a big return on investment for us, and so we take them for granted. Expressing gratitude is better when you do it for a less obvious reason, especially when your motive is to celebrate others’ small victories. Be thankful and lift someone else’s spirit by highlighting their strengths and giving them the spotlight this time.

Daisy Jing, Banish

6. Be There to Help When They Need It

I believe that being there to help someone when they need you is a good way to show gratitude. You should obviously thank them at the moment, but don’t forget about them later if they need your help with something. This gesture shows them that you are appreciative and dependable, which means you both will grow mutual trust.

John Brackett, Smash Balloon LLC

7. Do Their Work From Time to Time

It’s a very surprising gift. Of course presents of any sort, compliments, opportunities like introductions and so forth make for a good gift as well, but doing their work translates to a certain degree of respect. It must happen in the right context, of course, like finishing some unimportant details or taking care of grunt work. It’s not taking over to correct, but to thank.

Joey Bertschler, Content Marketer

8. Express Appreciation in Public

When someone helps out at work, I find that it’s important to appreciate their work in public. Adding a message to your Slack channel is a good idea. You can also create a specific channel just for teammates to appreciate each other. This is important because it shows that people’s work is recognized and noticed.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

9. Write Them a Note

You can express gratitude to your colleagues by writing them a thank-you note. It’s simple but effective. It shows that you really do care and appreciate their hard work. It’s important to vocalize your gratitude because people aren’t mind readers and otherwise won’t know how you feel. Doing so could boost someone’s mood and make them feel more welcome in the workplace. 

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

10. Reward Them With Fun Events

I’m very appreciative of my employees, and I always want to make that known to them. I show my appreciation toward them by having game nights, happy hours, team lunches or I’ll even write them personal thank-you notes. I truly believe that motivating and showing appreciation toward my employees makes my business more fun and successful.

John Hall, Calendar

11. Let Them Choose Their Reward

Gift certificates are a simple but thoughtful way to show your appreciation and a way to let the recipient choose their reward. You could do Amazon gift cards, as just about everyone shops on Amazon. There are also services that let you set up accounts so you can give gifts, such as

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

12. Give Them Compliments

One simple way to express gratitude to your employees, co-workers and friends is simply by giving them compliments. Compliments go a long way. They can definitely brighten someone’s day, especially if that person is having a bad day. By simply complimenting someone, you’re verbally reinforcing your trust and praise. This shows not only respect, but also an expression of gratitude.

Fritz Colcol, ABN Circle

13. Implement a Cheers System

Our company uses a cheers system in our work chat to thank one another for help when something comes up. I think this is important because it helps build a helpful culture, which means more people will treat others with the same passion and kindness they see in the cheers channel.

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at