Anyone that knows me, should know that I believe recognition to be one of the best motivators. About 5 weeks ago I wrote a blog here about recognizing employees and the many benefits that come from those actions.
I have not had a manager myself in the past 5 years since I became an independent consultant. Not only have I had no one to report to, I have also not had anyone to appreciate for helping me with my job.
I miss that opportunity that had been something I had when I was working in a corporate environment. Not that every manager I have had was the perfect prize, but there was at least something I could find in our relationship that I valued.
Most managers are a bit leery about receiving any kind of appreciation from their staff. Almost too reverse of roles for many to handle, and yet I always found it to improve my relationship with the boss.
Try this if you are unsure how much to do. Find one to two things that your manager does that makes your work easier. Maybe it is the way they casually check in with you on a project. Maybe it is a regular meeting where you catch up. I once had a manager that came by the office for a cup of coffee and brought a Danish for me and we would just talk about what was going on.
In any case, find what matters most, and jot them a quick note of appreciation in a holiday card, or a traditional “Thank You” card. Use the end of the year to thank them for whatever makes them unique and tie it up with how it benefits you. Keep it simple and sincere. (My version of the KISS acronym)
Let me know what makes a difference to you and if it improved your working relationship with your manager.