We all like to feel valued when we have either helped someone or done something really well. Many feel that saying thank you encourages better team work and bonding. A point supported by David Desento’s research. But what is the best way to say thank you? A thank you email is one way and is often the default. However, how many of those ‘thank you’ emails are really sent with genuine warmth and gratitude? For those who receive over 50 emails a day, the ‘thank you’ either might be overlooked or worse still just add to feeling of suffering with chronic email and information overload.
In workshops and coaching sessions, when asked what annoys people the most about email, 75% cite ‘thank you’ emails. Many perceive they are sent without thinking but rather almost as a Pavlovian response which is meaningless and without any feeling of real gratitude. After all if the boss ask for something why would you not do it.
In this age of electronic communications what is the best email etiquette to say thank you and do with feeling? Drawing on discussions with clients and their experience here are some which work really well without driving up the email overload.
1. Add a line at the end of the original email to show your gratitude in advance of the response.
2. If the person has gone the extra mile and done an exceptional job then:
especially if the person has gone the extra mile).
3. Only if none of the above work, should you ping back a ‘thanks’ email. But make sure it sounds sincere and it stops there. Don’t be sucked in to a pointless round of email ping-pong if they respond.
Using good email etiquette like this and switching to an alternative medium is also a very good way to improve performance and business relationships whilst at the same time reducing email and information overload.
For more ways like these to save time and enhance productivity ask us about our email best practice training and coaching.