In my experience, employees that feel recognized, valued and appreciated are much more likely to work hard and love their jobs than those who feel like their accomplishments are going unnoticed. For that reason, companies can really benefit from sending business thank you cards to their staff members. Whether you’re sending them after an employee has landed a great client or to the sales team after they’ve met a goal, what’s most important about the thank you cards is the message that goes inside them. A personalized and heartfelt note will mean more to any employee than something generic. Here are five tips to keep in mind when writing thank you notes to your employees:
1. Speak to the individual
As a manager, you’ve probably learned that it’s most effective to treat employees as individuals when handling praise, discipline or conflict. Because everyone has different strengths and personalities, it’s important to adjust your wording to meet each employee’s individuality – and that’s also true in business thank you cards. For detail-oriented and type-A thinkers, be as clear, straightforward and descriptive as possible. For employees that value positive reinforcement, write a note about respecting the characteristics that make them a great team member and company asset: “Your enthusiasm is contagious, and it shows in your work with clients as well as with other members of your team.”
2. Add an example
Vague wording and platitudes sound far from genuine (especially if your employees think you’re sending the same message to everyone), so get specific. For instance, rather than only saying “I value you because you’re a hard worker,” be sure to include a specific example of hard work that you appreciated. Instead, say something like, “Your work on the Smith account went above and beyond what the client expected, and for that I truly thank you.”
3. Be sincere
Even personalized and detailed messages don’t mean anything unless your employees feel you’re sincere. Thank you notes are a great opportunity to get a little less formal and a little more personable, so really try to speak from your heart. Spend time considering what it is that each individual brings to the team. If you’re sending company-wide thank you notes, have each team manager chip in to make the messages even more significant.
4. Keep it quick
Try to keep each message quick and to the point. In two to three sentences you should be able to convey what you want to say clearly and concisely, while still being able to show sincerity and gratitude. Any longer, and the messages can become a little drawn-out and even tangential, which can take away from overall feeling of what you’re trying to say.
5. Write them by hand
In situations where you only have a few employees to send thank you cards to, try to make time to write them out by hand. Employees understand how much time and effort it takes to write handwritten notes compared to shooting a quick email or typing one up. Because you put in that extra effort to write one out, they’ll feel even more appreciated.