If you are like most folks in today’s fast-paced companies, you barely have time to take a lunch break, so you’re probably also ignoring another vitally important part of your work day – the thank you note. For the past several years I have been writing short, simple thank you notes when I interact with a member outside my team and they assisted me to my expectations – even if they were “merely doing their job”. For example, last week, our crackerjack help desk, located in another state, set me up to beta test an HTC Windows Phone. I was nervous. First, I wasn’t too sure about the new “Windows Tiles” interface, but I was more worried about my upgrade from the BlackBerry and whether or not I’d be offline or lose data. One of our agents at the help desk got me set up and transferred to the new phone with ease. I was so delighted that she was able to assist both efficiently and effortlessly, that I was compelled to say thank you – even though it was just part of her job. I opened my middle draw and pulled out a thank you card – nothing fancy, just an inconspicuously designed 4 x 6 inch card that says “thank you” on one side and blank in the middle. I wrote a three sentence note:
Dear (so and so) –
Thanks so much for getting me set up on my new
Windows phone so quickly. I sincerely appreciate your
assistance on this project. Here’s to a great 2013!
It wasn’t exactly my best Ernest Hemmingway, but that’s not the point. The point is that the next day after receiving the phone, I stopped for five minutes, and wrote a personalized note of thanks. Notes like these can go a long way with building relationships with other people and their teams. These little things are remembered the next time you need a hand and they pay dividends. But most importantly, it really helps set the workplace mood in a positive manner – spreading thanks to everyone that’s makes our organization run.
So next time someone helps you out, take five minutes and say thanks by sending a prompt, simple note. If you need some cards, go to Target or any stationary store – they are not expensive and will more then pay for themselves in the return value you generate.
Here’s another great article about thank you notes, especially when it comes to interviewing: http://blogs.wsj.com/atwork/2012/11/21/how-saying-thanks-can-help-your-career