Thanksgiving is coming quickly, and it is the perfect time to write a thank you letter to employees and share your heartfelt appreciation for all they do for you and your business.
If you are new to writing business thank you notes or need a little inspiration, gThankYou’s eBook “Put the ‘Thanks’ in Thanksgiving: How to Write a Thanksgiving Letter to Employees” is here to guide and inspire you.
Thanking employees any time of the year is one of the best ways to engage employees and motivate them to do excellent work. But at Thanksgiving, your thanks takes on added meaning. Gratitude at Thanksgiving is more personal; it lets your employees know you value them as people. You’re honoring the all-American holiday when we celebrate and share our gratitude with family and friends.
Writing thank you notes is a practice shared by many successful leaders, but it’s not always easy to get started. What tone is appropriate? How can you express your appreciation sincerely? What do you say besides “thanks”? What’s the most effective way to share your letter?
“How to Write a Thanksgiving Letter to Employees” has the answers.
If the last thank you note you wrote was to Grandma in fifth grade, don’t worry! Once you follow a few simple guidelines — and get ideas from our examples from workplace gratitude pros — you’ll be set to write your own memorable, meaningful letter to employees.
Times have been really tough for both employers and employees. While the last couple of years have been stressful, we’ve also seen people really step up! During uncertain times, it’s important to share your company gratitude with employees. This time of year, we recommend writing a memorable Thanksgiving letter to employees to show how much you care. It’s the quintessential message of, “Thank you for being here and all you have done and continue to do!”
Whether you are part of the over-taxed health care industry, over-burdened supply chain, or another business that is thankful for its hard-working employees, showing appreciation is critical – now and always.
Your Sincere ‘Thank You’ Matters
Thank you is easy to say, yet it’s underused in the workplace. Let’s collectively change that! When in-person, use eye contact, a handshake, fist-bump or other social connection while saying, “Thank you.” We promise, it will be well-received and appreciated.
Why? Because thank-you notes work! (Research proves thank-you notes work even better than cash bonuses, say HR experts.)
A written note or company-wide Thanksgiving letter of appreciation are underutilized gems. A sincere note communicates you care and are grateful for employees hard-work and dedication, especially during these challenging times.
gThankYou has spent years honing the perfect tips for how to express gratitude in a way that is authentic and well-received: in the form of a memorable Thanksgiving or holiday letter. If you’ve never done one for your team or company, it’s a great time to start the tradition!
Your organization flourishes and grows thanks to the commitment, creativity, and, most of all, hard work of loyal team members – do they know that???
Two BIG words — “thank you” — make a world of difference in the workplace. Study after study shows employees work harder, work smarter, and are retained longer when they feel appreciated.
Holiday employee letters are an annual tradition for major corporation CEOs, directors of government agencies, and university presidents.
6 Tips to Writing Meaningful Employee Thank-You Notes
When you write your letter of appreciation this season — whether for the first time or as part of your yearly ritual — here are tips to help you put your sincere gratitude on paper:
- Go beyond recognition, which focuses on employee performance, to appreciation, which acknowledges an employee’s character and intrinsic worth. People want to feel valued for who they are.
- Describe specific ways employees have contributed to your organization’s success this year.
- Speak from the heart. Be honest. Be sincere. Avoid sentimentality which can come off as fake.
- Reflect on the meaning of the season. Thanksgiving is a treasured American tradition that has meaning to everyone.
- Deliver your letter on paper, in person. With today’s overflowing inboxes, no one wants another email.
- Package your letter with a thoughtful gift that reflects the spirit of Thanksgiving.
gThankYou! Turkey Gift Certificates easily fit in an envelope alongside your thank-you note.
Or, choose to customize your Certificates with a Free Enclosure Card featuring a heartfelt message of gratitude and your logo.
Real-Life Examples of Thanksgiving Employee Letters
For real-life employee holiday letter examples, DOWNLOAD our popular free guide, “How to Put the ‘Thanks’ in Thanksgiving.”
When you express genuine appreciation with employees, they share it back not only with you – but also with colleagues and customers. That’s what’s so remarkable about gratitude –gratitude is contagious and makes givers and recipients feel great!
End the year with your workplace feeling valued and appreciated. Brighten everyones’ holidays with your thoughtful holiday letter of gratitude.
Learning how to write a Thanksgiving letter to employees can be a transformative experience — for you, your staff and your company.
Take it from Brian Buffini, founder and chairman of the real estate training and coaching firm Buffini & Company.
In a recent column for Entrepreneur, Buffini writes about why sharing Thank You notes “should be as automatic as brushing your teeth.”
Buffini got the idea early in his career to write 10 notes a day to people he’d recently met, to business contacts and friends, or simply to those who came to mind.
Note-writing has been part of his routine over a quarter century. He writes thousands of notes in any given year.
“I’m a prolific note-writer to my clients, staff, family and friends. I firmly believe that the cumulative effect of all that goodwill over time has been one of the key ingredients for my success,” he writes.
One of the most important times to show appreciation through notes is at the holidays. At Thanksgiving in particular, we’re naturally drawn to gratitude, expressed and received.
Learn how to write a Thanksgiving letter to employees with gThankYou’s free guide on writing the perfect holiday Thank You letter. This step-by-step guide teaches all of the basics. It also includes lots of real-life examples written by CEOs and other leaders to inspire you.
Read on to find out more, and to see how Buffini has helped build his company culture through Thank You notes.
FREE eBook: How to Write a Thanksgiving Letter to Employees
Thanksgiving is this week — and you can still “put the Thanks in Thanksgiving” in time to delight your employees and workplace!
For Thanksgiving, and for the rest of the holiday season, gratitude is the best gift company leaders can give employees.
Learn how to express your gratitude to employees with gThankYou’s free eBook, “Put the Thanks in Thanksgiving: How to Write a Thanksgiving Letter to Employees.”
This free how-to guide has step-by-step instructions on writing a memorable, meaningful holiday letter, as well as tips and real-life examples to inspire you.
Whether you’re composing a company-wide email, handwriting Thank You notes, preparing a speech, or just want to say “Thank You” more effectively in person — this is the eBook for you!
What Employees Really Want
Genuine, clearly expressed gratitude from leadership is what really “puts the Thanks in Thanksgiving” — and it’s what employees want.
A new Randstad survey of about 1,200 U.S .employees from a cross-section of industries and regions shows that some workplace holiday traditions — cookie swaps, the annual Christmas party — are not actually that important to workers.
What employees really want, more than anything, is to feel the spirit of the holidays in their workplace.
Learn to write a Thanksgiving message to employees without the same old clichés and platitudes — a Thank You letter that truly communicates your appreciation and embodies your unique company spirit!
gThankYou’s FREE eBook “Put the ‘Thanks’ in Thanksgiving” teaches how to do exactly that, with step-by-step instructions to guide you and lots of inspiring real-life examples.
With just a few weeks to go to Thanksgiving, now’s the time to craft a Thanksgiving message to employees to share in holiday cards or on your company intranet or website, or to share in person at the annual holiday party.
However you share it, the message it sends is important.
Showing gratitude to employees is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a tool for motivation and engagement.
Gratitude connects workers to the organization and its purpose. Gratitude lets them know why their hard work matters — and encourages them to keep it up.
Sharing and receiving gratitude is also good for our health, lowers stress and helps us get along better.
“As Thanksgiving approaches, our thoughts naturally turn to gratitude — at home and in the workplace. Studies suggest that expressing gratitude may focus your mind to notice gratitude more frequently,” TalentCulture founder Meghan M. Biro writes.
Quite simply, the more you express gratitude, the better you feel and the better others around you feel. And that, Biro writes, has a powerful effect in the workplace, where “expressing gratitude and being on the receiving end can be an effective morale booster and motivator.”
According to a Glassdoor study Biro cites, 80 percent of employees are willing to work harder for an appreciative boss.
4 Ways a Thanksgiving Message to Employees Improves Company Culture
Our gratitude is what makes Thanksgiving special. Be sure you’re communicating your workplace gratitude clearly and in a memorable way. Every order of gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude (for a whole turkey, turkey or ham, groceries and more) come with free customizable Enclosure Cards to share your personal message of thanks – holiday time or any time. We’re excited to announce the addition of new designs to our selection of Autumn and Thanksgiving Thank You Cards for employees, customers and clients.
Catch your employees’ eyes with these beautiful cards. Each includes a thoughtful Thanksgiving greeting, gorgeous art and space for your personal message and even company logo if you wish. Cards are 3-inches high by 4-inches wide (3″ X 4″) and printed on high-quality card stock.
Don’t skip Thank You cards this Thanksgiving! They’re vital to building a strong workplace culture. Gratitude is transformative in the workplace. A thoughtful employee Thank You note actually motivates employees more than the prospect of a cash bonus or promotion. Make your gratitude shine this holiday season with gThankYou’s unique Thanksgiving Thank You cards for employees!
To see our complete line of Thanksgiving Thank You cards for employees, download our Autumn and Thanksgiving Enclosure Card Designs Catalog. Keep reading to see the designs we’ve added for Fall 2016, from whimsical to classic.
You can see our Winter Holiday Designs and the complete assortment of Card Designs on the gThankYou website. To learn more call us at: 888-484-1658.
A thoughtful employee Thank You note motivates employees more than the prospect of a cash bonus or promotion, according to a recent study.
The study, from Appirio, underscores the importance of a boss’ appreciation to employees.
Of those surveyed, 60 percent said that when they’re considering a job offer, the most important factor is knowing whether management appreciates employees. By comparison, only 4 percent said they were most concerned with knowing how often a company evaluates employees for raises.
The majority of workers “value a human expression of appreciation for a job well done,” the study’s authors wrote.
A simple “Thank You” is more powerful than money. The study revealed that 55 percent of surveyed workers appreciate being thanked by their managers for a project well done. Notably, only 8 percent would feel disappointed if the same project didn’t result in a monetary reward.
One of the best ways to share your employee Thank You is with a handwritten note. It’s a classic, meaningful way to show appreciation and motivate employees with a keepsake of your gratitude.
Better yet, start an employee Thank You note habit! Turning appreciation into a regular workplace habit makes sharing gratitude easier and faster — and it feeds your company culture.
We love the story of Pam McCorkle, a Wisconsin woman who started a regular “Thank You Note Thursdays” event at her local bookstore.
Let one woman’s appreciation mission inspire you to start an employee Thank You note habit! Read on for lessons from McCorkle’s experiment, and take action today for a lasting culture of workplace gratitude.
It’s back to the future for employee Thank You notes! Even in the digital age, handwriting a Thank You note to employees is enjoying a comeback among HR professionals and business leaders.
“I think the art of the handwritten note is still powerful. I try to write at least a few each month to members of my team,” American Cancer Society CIO Jay Ferro writes in his recent Enterprisers Project article, “3 Powerful Ways to Praise Employee Progress.”
Regular, informal and low-cost employee recognition is on the rise, according to a survey at last month’s 2016 SHRM Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.
Employee Thank You notes fill the need for low-cost recognition — and they work.
HR pros surveyed at SHRM report that Employee Thank You notes are among the top three recognition initiatives having the biggest impact on engagement. Nearly three-quarters of the 300-plus survey participants said they “plan to expand their recognition programs over the next year.”
“The biggest takeaway is that HR understands the value of daily and ongoing recognition,” Cord Himelstein, VP of marketing and communications at Michael C. Fina Recognition, which conducted the SHRM survey, says in the Employee Benefit News article, “Seeing Results, More Employers Are Saying ‘Thank You’ to Workers.”
If you’re intimidated by the thought of writing employee Thank You notes, you’re not alone! We’re all so accustomed to email and social media now that the “potential formality” of a handwritten Thank You note can be daunting, says Phoenix Business Journal editor-in-chief Ilana Lowery.
But it’s worth it to develop a Thank You note habit. Read on to find out what makes a memorable employee Thank You note.
A New Years thank you note lets employees, customers, and business partners know how much you value your relationships with them, and that you look forward to continuing to do business together.
It’s sometimes stressful figuring out what to say, but as Durham, N.C. Herald Sun columnist Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan says in “Write Those Thank You Notes,”
“The most important part of the thank you note is just doing it. I think they make thank you notes smaller than regular note cards because the thanker is struggling to fill that blank space. Now I see it pretty simply. Offer seasonal greetings. Say thank you. Finish up with a ‘Happy New Year’ and you’re all set.”
Show Appreciation for Those Who Help Make You Successful
Vaughan is referring to thank you notes for friends and family, but her central points apply to business thank you notes as well. Of course you’ll want to specifically thank recipients for helping your business achieve a successful year, whether it’s an employee’s hard work, a customer’s support, or a business partner’s excellent service. Include a positive message about continuing to work together this year.
“The purpose of the thank-you gesture is to show appreciation for the people who help you succeed or make your work life enjoyable.”
The Personal Touch
It’s best to snailmail your thank you note if possible. In USA Today’s “Best Ways to Say Thank You this Holiday Season,” Tanya Rivera, a news anchor at WFMY-TV, quotes etiquette expert Sindy Martin on the do’s and don’ts of appreciation.
“If the person you are thanking tends to use e-mail, then a [thank you note via email is] appropriate. However, taking the time to write a short thank you note and actually put it in the mail really shows how much that person means to you and how grateful you are for the relationship.”
And in another of Gaertner-Johnston’s posts, “Holiday Greetings Made Easy,” she offers suggestions for sending thank you notes to your customers, clients, employees, mentors, donors, vendors, service providers, and others who helped make your 2014 successful:
Printed vs. Handwritten Signature. Whenever possible, sign your cards rather than using a typed signature. Although a signature typed in gold or silver looks impressive, writing a message and signing your name shows a relationship with your reader. Pass around cards at your workplace and have people who know the recipients sign them.
Responding to Holiday Greetings. Although responding to holiday cards and greetings is not required, it’s thoughtful to do so. Whenever you can spread peace, joy, and friendship in the world, do it!
Writing Happy New Year. Why not use your readers’ languages to communicate New Year’s greetings? For correct spellings of worldwide greetings, visit Omniglot. For some languages, Omniglot also provides pronunciations. Gaertner-Johnston offers sample New Year messages such as:
“Thank you for your business [last] year. It has been a pleasure helping you reach your goals, and we look forward to contributing to your success in 2015. We wish you a prosperous and happy new year!”
If you’re looking for more examples of business thank you note messages, try the TinyPrints website. As the site says:
“A simple deed can create a loyal customer for life, and the [New Year is] the perfect time to share your gratitude and warm wishes with the people who do business with you all year long. And whether you own a small company or run a large corporation, a [thank you] card is one of the best ways to express appreciation towards clients and colleagues for their continued support.”
The same goes for employees and business partners, so send your New Years thank you notes today!
To learn about the art of workplace gift-giving, click the image below to download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving today!
Astronaut Neil Armstrong wrote one of the best employee thank-you notes of all time to the crew of engineers that made it possible for him to walk safely on the moon in 1969.
Mental Floss includes Armstrong’s letter in a list of “11 Amazing Thank You Notes From Famous People.”
The letter, addressed to the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) engineers, is an excellent example of how to thank coworkers or employees. Not only is Armstrong’s letter heartfelt and humorous, but he keeps it succinct.
Armstrong packs a lot into 113 words. See how he does it below, then read on for tips on writing your own employee thank you notes.
The humble handwritten thank you note can boost your company’s bottom line, believe it or not.
A recent Forbes article by, founder and principal at Bersin by Deloitte, illustrates the point. His article, “New Research Unlocks the Secret of Employee Recognition,” cites his company’s comprehensive research project on employee recognition showing that organizations giving regular thanks to their employees far outperform those that don’t.
Companies scoring in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” actually had 31% lower voluntary turnover rates.
That makes sense to Geil Browning, founder of Emergenetics International. In an Inc. Magazine article, “How to Thank Your Employees in Only 8 Words,” she writes:
“When you recognize the contributions of others, you reinforce the kind of behavior you want to see again. People who feel their efforts are noticed, and their work makes a difference, are more likely to go the extra mile in the future. Leadership is about empowering others to realize their own abilities. Communicate your belief in your people, and watch them rise to meet your expectations.”
Put another way, recognizing employee’s contributions shows you’re paying attention and that you care. It makes people feel valued. When you write a thoughtful note of gratitude, it’s also a permanent keepsake reminder.
Browning quotes business guru Tom Peters: “People don’t forget kindness.”
Her research at Emergenetics suggests most employees appreciate personal thank you notes, if they’re personalized and meaningful. To be meaningful, notes should be specific and prompt. And to reward behaviors you want people to repeat, be sure to recognize efforts involving those behaviors.
Browning offers 10 tips for customizing thank you notes to celebrate employee strengths, according to brain-related research:
- The “gift of gab” is a work asset for gregarious people. You might write: “I celebrate how you share your enthusiasm,” or “Thanks for keeping the lines of communication open.”
- For quieter people you could say: “I prize your well-considered solutions,” or “I appreciate your respectful attitude toward everyone.”
- For assertive people, try: “Thank you for keeping the momentum going,” or “I appreciate your decisive action.”
- More easygoing people who want everyone to get along might appreciate: “Thank you for helping to keep the peace,” or, “I appreciate your amiability more than you know.”
- To flexible, change-seeking workers who don’t get flustered easily you might write: “I recognize your easy resilience” or “Thanks for how you handled [difficult client].”
- To focused staffers with strong opinions, try: “I depend on your support,” or “I honor you for your convictions.”
- Analytical thinkers might value: “I appreciate your penetrating questions,” or “I respect the depth of your knowledge.”
- For structural-minded, detail-oriented people, consider: “Thank you for transferring all that data perfectly,” or “You always meet your deadlines—impressive!”
- Social thinkers want to please you, so you could write: “I’m so grateful for your team building skills,” or, “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
- Conceptual workers who want to feel unique might value: “Your solution to the XYZ problem was stunning,” or “I treasure your creative long-term views.”
Bersin’s research also showed the effectiveness of rewarding employees for:
1. specific results and behaviors and,
2. making thank yous public.
Consider displaying a list of employees you’ve recognized in your company newsletter, on bulletin boards, or via social media.
The best practices his research project uncovered also recommended including peer-to-peer recognition and making it easy for employees to recognize each other frequently. For more on new “social” peer-to-peer recognition, you might enjoy Incentive Magazine’s article, “The Pressing Case for Peer-to-Peer Recognition” by Andrea Doyle.
How often and on what occasions do you write employee thank you notes? Do you ever have peers write thank you notes to peers?