You may be used to sending thank you notes to family or friends who give you a gift or help you out in a big way, but thank you notes have a place in the professional realm, too. A thoughtful thank you letter goes a long way in showing a client, colleague, or anyone else you work with that you appreciate something they’ve done for you. Learning how to craft a message that demonstrates warmth while exemplifying professionalism is an important skill for anyone in the workplace.
Everyone likes feeling appreciated — that goes for clients, co-workers, employees, bosses, and business partners. A culture of gratitude helps everyone in a business feel more connected. If you’re the boss, showing appreciation for your employees can boost engagement, making them more likely to go the extra mile for your business (and to stick around instead of looking for employment elsewhere). If you’ve just closed a big deal with a client or have some loyal customers who always use your products, you want those folks to know you appreciate them, too.
A professional thank you letter is a great way to acknowledge an employee or co-worker’s effort and hard work, or to show appreciation for a customer’s or client’s loyalty. People sometimes think showing gratitude will come across as awkward. In fact, saying thank you has a positive impact on both the recipient and giver of the message. All in all, expressions of gratitude can:
In other words, there’s no good reason NOT to say thank you in a professional setting! If you have a reason to show gratitude, go for it.
Still, actually putting together a professional thank you letter can feel like a challenge; it is extremely different from writing a farewell message for a colleague. You’ll want to carefully consider tone and presentation when you communicate in a professional setting. Here are a few ways to make your thank you note more professional:
Here are some steps to follow when you’re writing a professional thank you letter:
Remember to strike the balance between warmth and professionalism. A simple opening like “Dear [Name],” including the recipient’s title if appropriate, always works well.
Consider the relationship you have with your recipient when you write your opening. While some workplaces and relationships are more informal, an informal tone will come off as inappropriate in other situations.
It’s important to strike the right tone in your thank you letter, too. Here are a few examples of ways to thank different people.
Thanking your boss:
Thanking your co-worker:
Thanking your employee:
Thanking your client:
A thank you letter won’t mean much if your recipient doesn’t know why they’re being thanked. Make sure your letter demonstrates exactly what you’re thankful for.
In other words, don’t take the easy way out with a generic note that says something like, “Thank you for your kindness” that you simply sign and send on its way. Instead, try something with a personal touch that makes your message stand out.
For example, a note like, “Thank you for listening to my concerns about the [name] project. Your kindness means so much to me” lets your recipient know why you’re thanking them while still being straightforward and to the point.
Signing off in a personal way puts the finishing touch on your professional thank you letter. A personalized closing can focus on the relationship you have with the recipient of your note. If you have a phrase you commonly use together, you can use that in place of a typical letter closing. Otherwise, just go with something that leaves the recipient in a positive mindset. Some examples of ways to close a professional thank you note include:
A professional thank you letter can brighten someone’s day, showing a client, employee, colleague, or boss that you noticed and appreciate what that person has done for you. Learning how to write a professional thank you letter is key to building solid professional relationships.
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