20 Ways to Say ‘Thank You’ to the Millennials Where You Work, Live or Play

Yesterday one of the young that I mentor shared with me that he had recently completed a massive undertaking at work.  Because of our on-going and recent conversations I knew how important the enormous project was to his company.  I also knew how excited he was to be given the project in the first place and how stressful the last 6 months had been for him as he led a team in executing a strategy that was expected to that “propel the company forward and into a new category of distribution.”   

I raised my paper coffee cup and said cheers to congratulate him for the completion of the work.  I asked him, “What did your boss say?”  He responded with, “He told me that he ‘knew I had it in me’ and then handed me a gift card.”  “Wow, I said, that was nice of him to recognize you and your hard work.”  “I just wish he would say ‘thank you’ more often.  I’ve been working at the company for 4 years and I have never heard him say thank you,” he said.  

Saying ‘thank you’ is such an easy thing to do.  Why don’t we do it more often?  It is one of the things that are free in life and yet some of us forget to say it, or we’ve never learned to have it be a part of their vocabulary.  Saying ‘thank you’ is probably the best way you can show your gratitude and appreciation to someone.  It also reveals our commitment to respecting people and our discipline to not take people for granted.  In the end, IMO, saying ‘thank you’ is the best way to recognize people for the work they do.  

Leaders, manager, supervisors, etc. can make all the difference in the world within the teams they lead simply by looking employees and co-workers in the eye, speaking clearly and be specific with a ‘thank you.’  Here are 20 ways you can thank the Millennials where you work, live or play:

  1. Thank you for your creativity.

  2. Thank you for your concern for our world.

  3. Thank you for being you, authentically you.

  4. Thank you for pushing back on hierarchy and establishment.

  5. Thank you for your desire to create a holistic, inclusive culture.

  6. Thank you for challenging us to invest in younger leaders.

  7. Thank you for your innovations in technology.

  8. Thank you for being a global thinker.

  9. Thank you for seeking and celebrating diversity.

  10. Thank you for your collaborative spirit.

  11. Thank you for your adventurous nature.

  12. Thank you for what motivates you – meaning and purpose.

  13. Thank you for being relational, for seeking community for you and others.

  14. Thank you for your hunger to learn.

  15. Thank you for modeling work-life balance.

  16. Thank you for being family-oriented.

  17. Thank you for your ambition.

  18. Thank you for helping us tell stories with more than words.

  19. Thank you for your on-going sense of optimism.

  20. Thank you for prioritizing experiences over rote education.

This week stop and look around where you work, live and play.  Do you see any Millennials who are reflecting any of the above traits?  If so, look them in the eye, speak clearly and say “thank you” for something specific.