I received an email from Carl, a small business owner, who is a subscriber to this blog. He wanted my thoughts on how he could say thank you to an employee who had recommended a vendor to his company. The employee's friend owns an advertising/PR agency, and Carl hired that firm to oversee a re-branding campaign for his company. Carl was thrilled with the results, and wanted to honor the employee who had made the recommendation....but did not want to "over-do" or "under-do" the gesture.
This made me laugh, so often people will over-think how to say "Thank You". They spend so much time milling it over in their mind that they never do anything.
I replied to Carl's email and told him to stop thinking too much about how to show gratitude to his employee and just do it. I did not know his budget or company culture...so I made a few suggestions, but did encourage him to recognize the person in a public setting. Having the praise be delivered in front of peers might out weight the actual trinket or token of appreciation.
My favorite suggestion was that Carl and his wife take the employee and her husband out to a nice dinner as a way of showing honoring the introduction. The reason is that this type of "thank you" is out of the ordinary, unique, and it will help him build a greater bond with the employee.
I had a similar experience about five years ago. I had gone "beyond the call of duty" to help with a situation at the law firm where I was marketing and business development manager. The managing partner and his wife invited my wife and I to join them for a nice dinner at a top tier steakhouse. It was a great way to say "thanks", and strengthened my relationship with this partner. I have never forgotten that evening, or that attorney for his graciousness. While I no longer work for him, I will forever hold him in high esteem.
However you say thank you, just do it. Employees and co-workers often contribute to our success. Too often their extraordinary efforts are just seen as them doing their job. Do not ignore it when someone goes the extra mile. Find a special way to say "thank you", and you will get more from that person in the future!!!
Have A Great Day.