The Importance of Saying Thank You

An article from the Harvard Business Review mentioned an employee losing a promotion opportunity after he chose not to reply to a email from his superior that complimented his performance. The employee said he did not believe a follow up or thank you email was necessary.

In my mind it would have only been acceptable the employee to not respond if he had sent a written thank you or thanked him in person instead. It takes less than 60 seconds to respond to an email and even if the response wasn’t as heartfelt as the email he received, at least it lets the sender know he received it. The CEO who emailed the employee took the time to write a personal, thoughtful email. To not receive even a quick thank you response seems unappreciative. Since the employee didn’t end up receiving a promotion based on this one interaction, it is obviously important.

Saying thank you goes beyond just words. It says you acknowledge the other person, respect that they took the time to do or write something nice and believe they are important enough to deserve a response.

I still believe in the importance of traditional handwritten cards or thank you notes. Taking an extra couple minutes to write a little note – it doesn’t have to be long, shows thoughtfulness and is more personal than a text or email. With everything revolving around technology now, it’s nice to take a moment to do something personal.

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One thought on “The Importance of Saying Thank You

  1. Dear Alicia,
    Thank you for highlighting the importance of handwritten Thank You notes. Ever since I was a little kid, my parents would always make me write handwritten notes when ever a Thank You note was appropriate. Nothing has changed over the past 22 years.
    Over the summer I had dinner with an older couple, Bruce and Betsey, that have been family friends of ours for over 40 years. They graciously invited me over for dinner and it didn’t take long for me to realize that they were, in my opinion, the epitome of a what marriage should be. They both had nothing but great things to say about one another and she told me that her heart still skips a beat every time she sees him walk through the front door. They’ve been married for over 50 years and they still have “it.” Long story short, I wrote them a letter expressing my gratitude and how their love for one another sets a standard that I plan to hold with my future husband. They called my mother the other day not only to read her the letter that I wrote them but to tell her that they keep it in a special drawer and continue to read it frequently.
    You mention how you, too, see the importance of handwritten notes despite the fact that society and it’s use of technology these days tries to make us think otherwise. Handwritten notes are becoming more rare, thus making the personalized effort even more classy.

    If I could handwrite you this Thank You of a comment, I would. But alas, technology proves to be a barrier.


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