Being a manager is tricky at the best of times, and those who have a lot of responsibilities to juggle will face more pressure and stress than most.

The ongoing pandemic has amped up challenges that business decision-makers face on a daily basis. They are making major changes to the way that organizations run, while still providing the support and guidance that their employees need.

If you feel like your boss deserves some recognition for all of their effort this year, there are a few ways you can show your appreciation. Here are just a handful of the top options.

Give them a unique gift

Everyone loves receiving gifts, and this can be made all the more special if the item being given is entirely bespoke, rather than something that is thoughtful but a little more generic.

There are lots of unique gifts for your boss that will demonstrate how much you respect the hard work they have put in this year, and it is generally sensible to tailor your choice according to their tastes, hobbies and personality.

For example, if they are a foodie then there are a huge range of options available to order online, ranging from monogrammed cheese boards that feature their initials to small batch spirits and other artisanal produce sourced from around the world.

If your boss is more of a practical person, then products like rechargeable battery packs to keep their tech juiced up while on the go could be a great investment as a gift. If you have trouble choosing, get input from other team members to home in on the ideal gift.

Let them know how they have helped

If you feel that your boss has supported you effectively throughout the past few months, it is sensible to repay the favor by actually telling them what it is about their management style that helped so much, and the ways in which this created a positive impact on your performance and your overall outlook.

This is not just a worthwhile step because of how it will make your boss feel; it will also be beneficial in terms of reinforcing positive management strategies and showing those in more senior positions that there is a right way of going about things during this taxing period.

You could always ask for a one-on-one video call with your boss to impart this information, but if you want to make sure you cover all the relevant bases and avoid the potential embarrassment of delivering praise face to face, you can always put your thoughts into an email.

Sing their praises on social media

With remote work becoming the norm in the pandemic era, it is harder to speak publicly about the advantageous effects of your boss’ management because you will be spending less time with other people, outside of the obligatory virtual meetings which are potentially too formal a forum for this kind of outburst.

This is where social media can be a great tool for showing your appreciation for your boss without having to monopolize anyone’s time directly. Writing them a recommendation on LinkedIn, for example, is a worthy step not only because it lets them know you respect their support, but also as it will make them more likely to provide similar feedback for you further down the line, which could help your career prospects.

Be generous with your time

We mentioned gift-giving earlier, but sometimes the thing that your boss will want the most more than anything is the gift of time. So if you are in the position to offer your own assistance and support in return, going above and beyond the obligations of your role, then this could definitely indicate that you are eager to repay their efforts by going the extra mile yourself.

This may not always be possible, of course, but if you do have the option, it will also show your superiors that you are not scared to take on extra work and allow them to shoulder less of the load when it really matters.

Be honest if you are struggling

The pandemic has resulted in a litany of issues in a variety of areas, with mental health taking a knock due to lockdown measures, economic hardship and restrictions on normal life.

It may be tempting to bottle up any concerns you have or complications you are facing so that your boss is unaware that anything is amiss, but this can be a bad tactic if it all comes to a head further down the line.

Instead, you can show your appreciation for their support by actually speaking openly and honestly with them as often as is necessary, so that they are not sideswiped by complications that seem to come out of nowhere. Organizations can help employees at this time, and it is important to remember that this support should go in both directions.


Richard Fendler is a goal-oriented manager with proven leadership abilities. Expert in increasing productivity and growth marketing through content. Committed to streamlining procedures while optimizing employee talent. Most importantly, dog lover.