Always acknowledge people who help you

Always acknowledge people who help you

Most of us accept help from others at some point during our careers. Maybe a friend gives you an in at your dream company, or perhaps a colleague shows you how to use a new app you need for work. Regardless of who helps you and how, it’s always important to acknowledge them. Here’s why.

Why it’s important to acknowledge people

If you’ve ever done something for someone who didn’t thank you, you probably felt ignored — as if you didn’t matter. Maybe you even felt less inclined to offer your assistance to that person afterwards. 

Now imagine the shoe being on the other foot. Let’s say a co-worker helped you complete an assignment you were struggling with, and you simply went about the rest of your day without saying thank you. Do you think that was a good experience for your co-worker? And next time you need help, do you think he or she will be prepared to assist you?

The answer to both of those questions is most likely, “No.” The reason for this is quite simple. According to Craig Dowden, Ph.D., in his article “Why you need to be seen” for Psychology Today, people simply want to be seen. Acknowledging others can make them feel more motivated and positive, which makes it more likely that they’ll repeat the same behavior. In other words, they’ll be more inclined to help you again in the future.

How to acknowledge others

In her Huffpost article “10 Ways to Show People They Matter and Why It’s Important,” Debbie Gisoni suggests several ways to acknowledge others:

  • Thank them: A simple, “Thank you” can be all it takes to make someone feel seen. If you want to make it more memorable, send the person a nice handwritten card.
  • Give a gift: For a big favor, it’s a good idea to give a thank-you gift. Think of a nice bunch of flowers, a bottle of wine, or a gift basket. You can also create something yourself, such as a poem or a framed photograph. 
  • Give them the gift of time: Set the time aside to take the person to lunch or dinner at their favorite restaurant. You can also invite them to an art exhibit, a play or some other interesting event.
  • Publicly acknowledge their assistance: If someone has done you a really big favor or gone out of their way to help you, it’s nice to tell others about it. That’s especially true when it comes to assistance in the workplace because it can positively impact your supervisor’s assessment of your co-worker.

When someone helps you professionally, it’s critical to recognize his or her assistance. And if you’re uncertain as to how to do this, simply ask yourself, “How would I like to be treated?” and act accordingly.




 Our strong, long-term connections—with the most admired companies—mean a new world of possibilities for your career. Find your new job today!

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

Receive monthly career tips.

Jobs in the US

Search thousands of contract, contract-to-hire, and full-time positions.