A thank you note is a very effective relationship tool. In an age of convenience and electronic communication, a well-written card of appreciation makes an immediate impact for people, and shows the sender to be thoughtful and outstanding. Because a thank-you note is simple in nature, it is important to get it right once. A poorly-executed note can distract from its effectiveness, and it can even backfire on the sender, making him look sloppy and even conceited.
Here are some ways to write a thank you note for coworkers:
- Be creative. A thank you note can be imaginative either in the art or the writing. This doesn’t mean the design has to be ornate or the writing in iambic pentameter; a short, witty message or a cute drawing can work just as well. If you don’t possess creativity, have a creative relative or friend design it for you. Send them a thank-you note as a light-hearted gesture of appreciation for their efforts.
- The note should reflect your personality. Another element of a thank you note is sincerity, and nothing is more sincere than something that comes from your heart. Avoid looking like someone else when you write a message. If you are a serious person, keep the message straightforward. If you are gleeful, write a funny note.
- Avoid garishness. A thank you note is simple enough in nature, and should be kept simple in appearance. Skip on the bells and whistles, the foil patterns and the flowery language. The receiver can easily misinterpret it as showing-off in your part, and will create a negative impression in their mind. Worse, they can send an image of the note online and ridicule your lack of tastes, ruining your reputation in the office and everywhere else.
- Have a year’s amount of thank you note professionally printed. There are many desktop publishers available nowadays, and can print all sorts of stationery affordably and in small batches. Have a small batch printed and keep it handy. When a coworker does you a favor, bring out a note, write a small message inside that depicts the action, sign it and send it. Having professionally printed thank you notes not only bespeaks of your classiness, it will also prevent you from procrastinating on your gratitude. Limiting it to a year’s supplies will force you to update its design each year, reinforcing your reputation for thoughtfulness. If you happen to run out of cards, you can always have more printed.
- Send your first thank you notes to someone you trust. A true friend can objectively look over your card and overlook your mistakes. He can gauge its effectiveness and can recommend modifications to improve it or remove the flaws. If he finds it adequate, you can begin sending it to their rest of your coworkers.
- Send the thank you note immediately. A thank you note is an act of thoughtfulness, and promptness is consistent with this character trait. Don’t wait a month after your coworker’s actions to thank them; the longer you delay, the less likely you will send it at all.
Thanking coworkers for helping you in any way will encourage them to help you more. It will also make you stand out in their mind out of the hundreds of other officemates. For something that costs cents and takes only minutes to prepare, a thank-you note goes a long way in your personal relations as well as your networking skills.