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Thank you notes are not dead. Sure, we write them (or should write them!) to show our appreciation for wedding, graduation and birthday gifts. But, at work? Yes, coworkers like to be appreciated as well.

In my popular Workplace Etiquette – Office Professionalism workshop, I share courtesy tips on how to be a “Difference Maker” at work. One of those ways is by showing appreciation and thanks to employees, coworkers and especially subordinates. Sometimes, that involves a thank you note.

At work, unfortunately, the reality is that often we tend to only speak up when we have a complaint about someone or their work. And, we often miss wonderful opportunities to share words of appreciation, praise and thanks.

So, I encourage employees to look for the good in each other. To be more intentional and deliberate in looking for the good and showing appreciation. Maybe it was a project completed on time or a phone call with an upset customer that was handled well. Maybe an employee took on a task voluntarily with a good attitude.

Do all those situations warrant a thank you note? That’s your choice. You decide. But, keep a stash of thank-you notes in your desk drawer for convenience when you need them. (The Dollar Store variety are just fine for this!)

Simple sticky notes work great, too. You’ll put a smile on someone’s face when they find a sticky note on their coffee cup that reads, “Thanks for bringing in the bagels today!”

In addition, your verbal words have power to appreciate and express thanks. “Beth, I want to thank you for getting that spread sheet to me so quickly. The data you provided helped us make the right decision in the meeting today.”

It’s not that our coworkers are exceptionally needy. It’s just that as humans, it’s our “human nature” to feel that what we are doing is appreciated.

So, when you thank others and commend them on a job well done, verbally or with a sticky note or thank-you note, it helps satisfy that person’ craving to be appreciated and valued. In addition, it draws people to you and builds trust and motivation. You also inspire them to be the best version of themselves.

Kind words and recognition are one of the most powerful motivators we have. Mark Twain said, “I can live two months on a good compliment.” Those expressions of thanks and appreciation you give to your coworkers and employees can make a world of difference.

You may also like to read Etiquette Tips – How to Write a Thank-You Note.

Rachel Wagner is a licensed business etiquette consultant, trainer and speaker. She’s been quoted or interviewed in Money, The Washington Post, NBC Today, Forbes and numerous other national media outlets on a regular basis. You may contact her at 918.970.4400 or email her at Rachel@EtiquetteTrainer.com. You may also visit her website www.EtiquetteTrainer.com for more information about her business etiquette programs or to speak at your event.

As a business etiquette expert, Rachel is frequently quoted or interviewed in national and local media outlets including the Tulsa Business Journal.