11 Creative Ways To Say Thank You That Are Better Than The Usual Boring Email

Sometimes co-workers can be just the best, and during moments like those you need to find ways to thank your colleagues. They can help you in a pinch for all sorts of things — from bailing you out from a looming deadline to picking you up a donut because you seem down. If you work with some great people, it's important to let them know you think they're amazing and that you appreciate the extra things they do for you. After all, even if we don't do good deeds for the glory, it is a little off-putting when no one takes the time to give you a small high five, right?

So forget the small high fives and instead give your helpful co-workers straight up confetti canons. How do you do that? Easy: Put a little effort into your thank you. Rather than shooting off a regular email with the usual peppering of smiley-faces, try taking it a step further. Maybe hand write them an actual note, or pick up some coffee on your way back from lunch. Or better yet, sing their praises loud enough for the office to hear. Those are just a few ideas, but here are a bunch more: Read ahead to find out 11 ways you can thank your co-workers. Their surprised and pleased smiles will make it worth it!

1. Turn It Into A GIF

While a "thanks a lot" is always appreciated, turn your message into a GIF to make it more personable and fun. Lifestyle writer Eli Epstein suggested to Mashable, "If you have someone in mind, you can seamlessly create a GIF for (or of) them by uploading an image or video (either from your own device or Facebook) to Makeagif.com. You can also use your own webcam to upload a thank-you message onto to Make a Gif." It's easy, and it'll feel more heart-felt.

2. Take 'Em Out To Lunch

Did your co-worker do you a total solid? Express your never-ending gratitude with some amazing noms. Lifestyle writer Sabrina Son from entrepreneur site TinyPulse recommended, "Take your coworker out to lunch." But don't just go to Panera Bread or Jimmy Johns — try to find something a little more fun around your office to make it more special.

3. Get 'Em Coffee

But not just a random cup from Starbucks or the local coffee shop. Take it a step further — is there a Keurig in the office, or an old fashioned coffee maker? Get them a pack with an interesting java flavor to help brighten their next couple of work weeks. Business writer Margaret Littman from Entrepreneur offered, "Invest in a quality coffee program to keep them in the office, looking forward to their coffee break." Who wouldn't love a Chocolate Glazed Donut blend in between spreadsheets?

4. Or Get Them A Personal Treat

Seriously though, would you complain if a co-worker brought a cupcake straight to your desk? I'm guessing no. Career writer and editor Katie Wolf from career-development site The Muse explained how to turn a confectionery into a thank you, saying, "Simple as it may seem, a treat with a quick 'Just wanted to say thanks for your help with the Smith account. I couldn’t have done it without you!' goes a long way to make a co-worker feel appreciated." And while you're there, you might as well get one for yourself, too! Everyone wins.

5. Hand Write It

A handwritten note is always more appreciated than an email, but take it a step further and mail it to their house. Littman explained why that's better, stating, "A hand-written thank you note — on real stationery — is appreciated. Krotzer suggests mailing it to your employee’s home address, where his or her spouse will also see it and know that the time away from home is valued." And if they live alone? They can still put it up on their fridge and feel the warm feels.

6. Strengthen Their Recs

While a cuff on the shoulder and a "thanks" is usually great, take it one step further and let the professional world know how you feel about working with someone like them. Son suggested, "Write about how awesome they are in a LinkedIn recommendation." Hype up what they did for you on their profile, and they'll be sure to be happy they did.

7. Take Something Off Of Their Plate

While a box of cookies or a sweet email is always nice, what your colleague might appreciate even more is an offer to take something out of their inbox. Career writer Lily Herman from Newsweek explained, "Did a co-worker cover your butt during an important deadline? Return the favor by offering to take on something extra that he or she needs help on (or just doesn’t really like doing)." Not only does it get your gratitude across, but it's also super considerate.

8. Say It Via Social Media

If your office is social media heavy, a heartfelt shout-out on your accounts can be well appreciated. Herman recommended, "Who doesn’t love getting a mention on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook? If a friend or colleague did a small favor for you, it can be nice to let your network know, too." Not only are you introducing them to your own network (which can open up opportunities,) but you're singing their praises publicly.

9. Call Them Out At A Meeting

If your helper doesn't die of mortification when called out at a meeting, take a quick three minutes next Monday to let the team and your boss know how awesome they are. Son advised, "Recognize an employee’s efforts in a public setting (e.g., a meeting.)" People deserve to know how they go above and beyond for the company and their peers, and they'll appreciate the thought.

10. Email Your Boss

Or if your co-worker would cringe over the spotlight of a meeting call-out, try emailing your boss directly while singing your helper's praises. Wolf explained, "One of the most meaningful thank yous I’ve ever received came when a co-worker emailed my boss (and copied me), explaining how I’d been a huge help to him with a client situation over the past couple days and that he wanted to extend his gratitude." And the best part? They'll probably be down to help you again once the time comes!

11. Give Them Opportunities

Whether it's mentioning them to your boss for a project or handing them a referral, keeping their great work in mind and advancing their career is an excellent thank you. Herman pointed out, "Love the work a friend, professional contact, or colleague is doing? Hand that person a great opportunity (or a referral) so that others can see that talent, too." It not only shows your gratitude, but also that you think enough of their work ethic that you know they'll knock it out of the park.

So next time a co-worker helps you out with something, give your thanks a little extra oomph with these suggestions. They'll love you for it!

Images: @emmahill/Instagram