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Four Effective Ways to Show Customer and Employee Appreciation

Gratitude and gift-giving shouldn’t be exclusive to the holiday season. In this article, I’m sharing four ways to show appreciation for your customer and employees throughout the year.

Feel free to make these practices your own – each will look different depending on the nature of your organization and the size of your team.

Cater to them

Today, there are plenty of food giftboxes and meal delivery services to make your customers and employees feel catered to. Hosting a meeting that will run through lunch? Send your team a gift card to have lunch delivered at their homes. They’ll appreciate the convenience of not having to make another meal (especially after months of cooking for themselves during quarantine!).

Another idea for your employees, key customers or vendors, is to find a food subscription that they can enjoy with their families or their team. Companies such as Omaha Steaks or Jeni’s ice cream are indulgent and can be a treat for a family or group of friends.

Don’t underestimate a “Thank You”

We’ve worked through some of the most challenging, unexpected circumstances. Don’t underestimate the power of a genuine “Thank You” to your employees and customers.

Thank your employees for their dedication, flexibility and the extra hours that they put in. While you can add this message in cards or handwritten notes, it’s especially meaningful when they hear it directly from you. Verbalizing your gratitude makes it even more meaningful and can be energizing for your employees – they’ll feel seen and know that their hard work doesn’t go unrecognized.

When it comes to customers, be sure to recognize them with zero agenda. Pick up the phone and call them personally to thank them for their flexibility and for being your customer. Doing this without a sales pitch attached will deepen your relationship and show your genuine appreciation for their business.

Publicly praise good work

Another meaningful practice to adopt, especially if you’re working on or managing a larger team, is to choose an employee to highlight in your team meetings. Publicly and genuinely recognize the good work that’s being done in your organization. An easy way to incorporate this is to ask meeting attendees to recognize someone who is doing good work, or someone on their team who they are grateful for and why.

If you want to get creative, engage your team with awards. At MPI, we hosted our own (virtual) employee appreciation award ceremony to recognize each person on our team for their unique contributions. The awards were mailed to team members’ homes and we had a Zoom meeting where each person opened their award and received recognition from the rest of the team. Everyone left feeling energized and valued, having their recent accomplishments validated and recognized.

Recognize customers for sharing feedback

When a customer shares meaningful feedback, look for opportunities to recognize and thank them. This will look different depending on your organization but can be something as simple as a comment on social media or your website, to feedback shared in a more meaningful setting such as a survey or debrief.

This doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive – following up with something as simple as a gift card for a free coffee and a personalized note can make them feel appreciated. The key here is to recognize and reward customers regardless of whether the feedback they’re sharing is positive or negative. Either way, their constructive feedback will enable you and your organization to improve and thrive.


Remember, you don’t have to wait until the holidays to recognize the very people who are contributing to your organization’s success. Let us know in the comments below how you show customer and employee appreciation at your organization!

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