Cheers for Peers

Recognition and appreciation can come in many forms: a simple thank you, an award, an invite to lunch; and is equally important when coming from a colleague as when coming from a supervisor.

Everyone has a co-worker who does their job in such a way that you are able to do your job more effectively. You know who I’m talking about, the people who always have the answers (or will help you find out), are there for you when you need them, and have a knack for making a cloudy day a little brighter.

To clarify our thoughts and feelings surrounding how other people enhance our lives, let's explore the nuances of the main words we use surrounding recognition:

  • Appreciation is about acknowledging the perceived value of something or someone. Appreciation is a cognitive act of acknowledging an outside force.
  • Gratitude as a subcomponent of appreciation and is more internal and affective. It is about feeling thankful, either as a direct beneficiary or on behalf of someone else. It is a positive emotion directed to a benefactor for some perceived, intentional benefit.
  • Recognition is the behavioral expression of these internal states.

So, why not take a minute today to try some of these creative ways to give cheers to your peers:

  • Random acts of kindness: Make it a point to not leave on Friday afternoon until you have performed an act of kindness. Help a coworker with a project, grab them a cup of coffee, or buy them lunch. Or, simply hold a door open for a stranger. Check out
  • Leave them a note: Write a secret note of thanks to your co-worker specifically describing what they do to deserve your praise. Write a Gratitude Letter from UC Berkeley Greater Good Institute.
  • Send an e-Card: has beautiful cards you can send.  You do not get on a list (nor the recipient) when you use this free service.
  • Celebrate successes: When one of your coworkers reaches a goal or a milestone, do what you can to help them celebrate! Bake a cake, decorate their workspace: or sing a song of celebration. 
  • Write them up: Tell Your Team: If a coworker goes above and beyond, put it in writing and praise them in a group email or note!
  • Use one of our Recognition Programs!  UC Davis and UCDH have different programs so be sure to look at the correct page for your location.  For UCDH, the Best Rewards program is the perfect peer-to-peer thank you and can also be directly accessed from the front page of the Insider.
  • Initiate our RAG TAG (Random Acts of Gratitude) program--printing (professionally, to get the double-sided card size) and leaving postcards of appreciation for your peers--and then, tag, you're it...they have to further spread the ripples of gratitude.

Help and Inspiration on Gratitude: