Oftentimes, leaders at the top are just seen as "managers" and "bosses." And while it's important that leaders also recognize their teams' hard work, these individuals don't always get the recognition they deserve for their role in guiding a business forward. Not only are they responsible for overseeing the big picture, but they also manage all their employees' day-to-day work -- all while juggling their own tasks.
Showing appreciation for those in key leadership roles is a way to build a relationship and create a more positive work culture. We asked a group of entrepreneurs how a business can show gratitude to those who run it. Follow their tips to make your leadership team feel special and appreciated.
Give them a bonus.
It may seem cliché, but a monetary reward for a job well done can go a long way in communicating your gratitude for a leader's hard work.
"Giving a good financial reward, promotion or bonus together with a notice of appreciation is a great way to keep people motivated and valued," says Nicole Munoz, founder and CEO of Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
Offer to help them.
If you want to show appreciation to your leaders, Zach Binder, president and co-founder of Bell + Ivy, says the best thing to give them is your time.
"If they need help, jump in," Binder says. "If they want to chat about the future or a current project, be there. Opening yourself up to being available will show them that their work is appreciated."
Invest in their professional development.
Every professional wants to learn and grow, especially those in leadership roles. Colbey Pfund, co-founder of HUGS Wellness, suggests giving leaders those growth opportunities as often as possible.
"Find out what their long-term goals look like and how you can help them get there, and then turn that ability into action," Pfund explains. "Doing so will show appreciation, trust and genuine care."
Write them a note.
It's easy to verbalize or email a quick "thank you" to your boss for all that they do, but writing it out makes it more personal and heartfelt, says Stephanie Wells, founder of Formidable Forms. Doing this means you took the time to write down your gratitude and express it to them.
"Everyone loves being praised and appreciated for their hard work, so writing a note will make the leader in your team feel stellar," Wells adds.
Treat them to lunch.
Blair Williams, founder and CEO of MemberPress, says treating your leadership team to lunch is a great way to take a break from the office and make people feel appreciated.
"It's also a chance to interact in a more friendly manner and build bonds," Williams says. "Take your key leaders out for a meal at a nice place and use it as an opportunity to celebrate their good work."
Be flexible and accommodating.
As Duran Inci, co-founder and COO of Optimum7, notes, individuals in leadership roles have a lot to manage and may handle stress differently. It's important to give them the space and freedom they need to deal with things in their own ways.
"Being flexible for personal matters or work times shows that you trust them while allowing them to do what they need to do to alleviate stress and properly manage their teams," Inci says.
Truly listen to them.
Earnestly listening has become a rarity in social and professional life, says Victoria Brodsky, co-founder and COO of BlockchainBTM Inc. That's why she advises listening intently, asking concise questions and showing genuine interest by paying attention to someone in a leadership role.
"This shows that you respect and value them," explains Brodsky. "Good leaders tend to have a lot on their plate, so being aware of their messaging and what they say speaks volumes. And, always remember to say 'thank you.'"
Celebrate the small victories.
While it's normal (and even expected) to acknowledge huge business wins, Stanley Meytin, CEO of True Film Production, reminds businesses not to forget the little things.
"Your leaders aren't going to score a business touchdown every day, but they will move the ball down the field," Meytin says. "Make it a practice to acknowledge momentum, as well as victories. It's a daily habit."