Or: How to Leave a Great Impression
Gratitude is powerful. A single gesture of thanks can change the entire atmosphere around a conversation or an interaction. If your business or nonprofit can find ways to add thanks into your standard practice, then you will be able to leave the people who work with you and use your services feeling good about the time that they spend with you.
The power of a thank you is greater than almost any other type of communication.
Appropriate thanks to employees recognizing their work is one of the best ways to improve employee retention. It also contributes to repeat business, and good networking relationships. People also feel that their work has more value when they are appreciated.
The power of thanks holds true both internally and externally. If you work with people regularly, taking the time to hand write a thank you letter often sticks with the recipient much longer than a simple thank you email would. You also get the benefit of implicitly saying that they are worth your time, so much that you would take the time to write a letter yourself to thank them.
You can also promote a company culture of gratitude by making the act of saying thank you between team members easier, and more public.
There are some key aspects of a thank you that help them to be more effective:
First, be specific when thanking someone. Nobody cares if you are giving a general thank you note. Thank them for the words that they shared, and idea that they brought forward, or a favor that they did for you. Whatever you pick, show them that you appreciated them in the moment, and remind them of what you are thankful for.
Second, be prompt. If you wait too long, then people will forget why you were thanking them. If you happen to be late, then you have to be even more specific, but don’t let a delay prevent you from sending a thank you note.
Finally, make sure you express what they meant to you and how much they were able to help you. Thank you cards allow us some space for sharing the positive emotions that others have given to us. Be honest, and don’t overemphasize, people will be able to tell if the sentiment is dishonest.
Hopefully this will help you write thank you notes that you feel good sending out, and that other appreciate receiving. Just remember: keep it simple.