Rewards & Recognition | Article

‘Must-Haves’ for Writing a Thank You Note

Stickie notes, greeting cards, letters, eCards…there are plenty of vehicles for writing thank-yous. But there are elements every thank you note should have.

Dopamine and serotonin. These are the two chemicals responsible for enhancing our mood. And they are both released when we express gratitude (or receive it!) If that’s not reason enough to thank your team members, there’s more research to consider. One study found that receiving more frequent appreciation from peers and leaders makes us feel respected and is also linked to better performance.

There are a million ways to thank people at work. Thank you notes are a classic and effective method. Writing them out by hand is still a great sentiment, but there are also eCards that empower us to send immediate digital appreciation. That’s why we’ve compiled five tips to consider when sending an eCard! (Keep in mind, most of these apply to any type of thank you note you’re sending.)

Pick the right sentiment

If you’re sending an eCard, pick the right one for the occasion. Think about the sentiment. Are you thanking the recipient? Sending encouragement? Saying happy work anniversary? Be thoughtful in choosing one that makes sense, but that you also think that person would like. If you don’t see one that makes sense, create your own. Some platforms (like ours!) allow you to add your own picture or video.

Write it from the heart

Be as genuine as you can. Writing thank you notes may come naturally for some and be much more difficult for others. Take inspiration online if needed but also don’t be afraid to just write down your thoughts. Not everything has to be eloquent and professional. Think about how that person has positively impacted you or the organization and communicate that in your message. For good vibes and inspiration while typing out your message, shuffle our Recognize & Thrive playlist on Spotify.

Be specific

It’s great to write kind words from the heart, but it is as important to ensure you are also specific. Don’t just say, “Thank you,” but describe why you are thankful. Name the specific action or moment you are thankful for. Recognition is more meaningful when it is tied to a specific action, behavior, objective, or accomplishment. When appreciation is vague and generic, it tends to feel disingenuous. So think about exactly why you’re writing a message and convey that in some detail.

Deliver it in a timely manner

When you want to send an eCard, don’t wait! Send it right away whether you are congratulating someone on an accomplishment or expressing gratitude. More time passing can make it feel like the action was forgotten or an afterthought. Plus, you are more likely to write a nice note of appreciation when it is fresh in your mind. Schedule eCards for things like birthdays and anniversaries so they are always delivered on time.

Look to the future

Inspire your eCard recipient to look to the future. You can do this highlighting how their hard work is contributing towards the overall mission. Even small tasks and projects can be tied to long-term goals. In some cases, you may be sending a note of encouragement rather than appreciation. This is especially important if they are going through a tough time or a failure at work. Help that person see past the current hardships to a brighter future.

Expressing gratitude at work is powerful. So why don’t we all do it more frequently? We get too busy, or can’t find the right words. We worry about making the recipient uncomfortable. These excuses and fears can sometimes be valid; however, they should never stop us from recognizing others. Start small with a simple eCard. Even small gestures of appreciation can have a lasting impact!