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Thank You Notes to Coworkers [15 Tips & Examples]

December 1, 2021
8 Min Read
Photo by
Olga Semklo

‍Table of Contents:

Why is writing a thank you note to coworkers important?

Thank you notes have several different uses, but all revolve around showing gratitude for something another person has done for you. This could be showing appreciation for a variety of things, including a generous gift, a corporate gift, a retirement gift, or even simply to thank someone for offering kind words on a day that you needed them.

Writing thank-you notes to coworkers is an important step towards building positive relationships at work and in your personal life; it is also an opportunity to make others feel good about themselves and their contributions. It shows thoughtfulness. The benefits of showing gratitude may even come back to you. As Positive Psychology states, “gratitude may even promote conflict resolution and foster reciprocally helpful behavior (in other words, ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’).”

Basic outline for writing a thank you note to coworkers

The best thing about a thank you note is that it doesn’t need to be as long as a thank you letter. Here is a basic outline for writing a thank you note:

  • Part 1: Personal greeting: Thank you notes should be addressed to the specific coworkers who have provided a gift or otherwise given their time and effort in your favor. These personalized messages express more sincerity than messages that do not include specific names.
  • Part 2: Make acknowledgments: When thanking people, you must remember to acknowledge the gift or service provided by them rather than just saying thank you. Phrases such as 'I'm really glad I received this cash gift because...' can provide a concise explanation of how the monetary gift will be used. A simple sentence is enough.
  • Part 3: Share a personal memory: Mention any memories you have with the person when receiving the gift or service. Especially if this is written to one of your work colleagues! This shows that you remember who they are and their position in your life.
  • Part 4: End on a positive note: It's important that you end your thank you note on an upbeat note because it'll make the other person reading it feel better about themselves and leave them feeling more enthusiastic about future events involving you. A simple 'thank-you' at the end is enough, but try to expand upon this with some message which leaves your recipient in good spirits when they put the letter down. The card wording is important.
  • Part 5: Sign off: Finally, when writing thank-you notes, don't forget to sign off properly to show that you appreciate everything that they've provided for you! Make sure to include your name.

7 tips and ideas for writing a thank you note to coworkers

The most important part about writing a thank you note is to show sincere appreciation, but here are a few more tips:

  • Figure out who to say thanks to: If too many people helped out, think about specific events that may have involved other people (e.g., a group project or an office birthday). Thank those good colleagues.
  • Keep it brief and sincere: "Lisa, thank you for inviting me to your baby shower even though I couldn't make it! The cake looked delicious; I missed out."
  • Mention specifics: Be as specific as possible about what exactly they did for you (e.g., "thank you for the birthday gift of the cute coffee mug" instead of just saying "thank you"). The more specific you are, the more meaningful it will be.
  • If possible, follow up with a smaller gift or favor: "I've loved reading your drafts, Ben! Thank you so much for sharing them with me! If you need another set of eyes on anything else before you submit it, I'd love to help out."
  • Mention future plans: Use the opportunity to let people know if you plan on staying in touch or not (e.g., "You're welcome to visit us anytime!"). This could include inviting coworkers over for dinner/drinks or planning an outing.
  • Be appreciative: Say thank you for even the small things that may not seem like much (e.g., "Just wanted to say thanks again for picking me up from the airport when I got back into town!")
  • Be genuine: Don't stress too much about what to write-just remember why you're writing them a note in the first place and how grateful you are that they helped you out.

8 examples of a thank you note to coworkers

  1. “Thank you so much for all your help and your kindness. I couldn't have done it without you!”
  2. “I want to thank you for all your help with the project, I wouldn't have been able to complete it otherwise. You truly are an asset to this team!”
  3. “Thank you again. Without the two of us working together nothing would get done around here. Keep up the great work!”
  4. “We've accomplished a lot together and I appreciate all that you do. Thanks for everything. You saved our necks on this one; we owe you one!”
  5. “Thanks for always having my back. It's people like you who make this company great!”
  6. “I don't know what I'd do without your support throughout this whole process. You're the best!”
  7. “Thank you so much for all your help over the past year; I know that without you, things would be a lot more difficult around here.”
  8. “You are one of my most valuable assets and not just because of your excellent work ethic, but also because of how kind and helpful you are to others in this office. You're a wonderful friend.”

Pros and cons of handwritten vs. emailed thank you note to coworkers

Handwritten thank you notes are more personal than emails. A handwritten note shows that the person took time out of their day to express gratitude by writing down some words on paper. It's also nice to receive something tangible in the mail rather than an email. 

An email may give the impression that the individual is too busy to take the time to write a handwritten note. It can also be easily deleted without being read first. These days, everything is digitalized so sending snail mail is a sweet surprise for many people who never expect someone to handwrite them a letter.

On the other hand, emailing a thank you note is easier and more practical. It takes less time to compose an email than it does to write a letter by hand. Emails also allow people to send many notes at once instead of one at a time. This makes it easy for larger businesses and organizations to practice employee recognition for good work.

How to give a thank you note to remote coworkers

Here are a few tips on writing thank you notes, whether the recipient resides far away from you or is in the next cubicle:

  1. Use Facebook: Some people are concerned about their privacy when sharing personal messages on Facebook; however, if all of your coworkers use social media platforms like Facebook then sending them a thank you note on this channel may work for you. You could even include a photo!
  2. Send a text: Include an emoji or meme in your message. In this generation, anything goes from pictures of cats to songs from Taylor Swift. Keep in mind that it is suggested to send short messages rather than long ones because people tend not to read the entire thing if they see that the text is too wordy or complicated.
  3. Use video: If all else fails, then you can resort to using virtual technology like Skype, FaceTime or Google Hangouts for delivering your thank you note. This is a thoughtful and personal way to connect with someone who isn’t nearby!
  4. Send a postcard: If writing letters by hand seems difficult, then an even simpler solution would be sending a postcard instead of an actual letter. 

4 softwares for writing a thank you note to coworkers

There are plenty of opportunities within the average workday for employees to thank their coworkers for all of their hard work and dedication throughout the year. There are some great sites out there that help guide you along this process of gratitude towards others:

  1. Postable: This website features an option to create a card online that is then mailed via snail mail. A handwriting font can be used to make it look like the note was handwritten. This service is ideal if you need a more automated way to show your appreciation.
  2. American Greetings: This well-known greeting card company also has an option to send ecards. Their Create-a-card app has options to choose a card or make your own design.
  3. Handwrytten: This website is similar to Postable, except that these notes are handwritten in pen. You can also include a gift card with the card that you choose to send. This service integrates with 1000s of apps, making it a great choice for large businesses and organizations to send out mass appreciation messages.
  4. Matter: This free app integrates with Slack. It allows users to send praise, kudos, or even a thank you note to a colleague. One of the best parts about this option is that you’re probably already using Slack, which makes this easy!
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