You know the old saying as well as I do, "it's the thought that counts."
So let's be honest. How much thought is required to dash off the all-too-common mass thank you emails? I'll let down my purist guard and say that thanking a group of individuals (or an individual) via email can be acceptable if the content of that message is personal, specific, and drafted with care and genuine appreciation.
But why not be a bit more inventive in how you acknowledge and recognize others, choosing to do so with a bit more style?
Two quick examples I've run across in recent months:
Display boards spotlighting award winners at the American Academy of Audiology Audiology Now conference were placed throughout the convention center where the meeting was being held. What made this recognition special is that in addition to the info you would expect (photo, award's name, winner's name) each poster shared about a half-dozen unique and personal facts about the award winner ala the American Express ad campaign you see in popular magazines. Doing so humanized the winners and made you want to read additional posters when you encountered them.
DelCor, a technology and management consulting firm, goes above and beyond with how it recognizes its quarterly employee of the month. The prize winner gets to select from handcrafted personal service packages offered by each of the three corporate officers. The most recent winner selected from one day's handyman skills, home-baked treats monthly for the next three months, or a home cooked meal for six.
What could you be doing to add more meaning to how you recognize, appreciate, and thank others?