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"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

When it comes to our professional lives, our coworkers and colleagues become important for us at several levels. The interactions that we have with them for the purpose of work or otherwise, help us form some of the greatest professional and personal bonds. They act as a support system, guiding and helping us through our work and problems. It is therefore quite natural that there will be occasions wherein they have helped us in one way or another, and thus, expressing our gratitude becomes necessary. Saying a simple 'thank you' makes them feel validated for the effort that they've put in.

There are several ways in which one can thank one's colleagues for the help that they've extended, but it has been seen that writing thank you notes for coworkers is one of the most effective ways of expressing one's gratitude towards them.

Situations for Writing a Thank You Note

There are several situations in which one can send a thank you note to one's coworkers or even the entire team. The following are certain examples.
  • Your coworkers help you accomplish your personal/department target.
  • Your team finishes a project well before the deadline.
  • Your coworker goes out of his/her way to help you with your work.
  • Your coworker handles your job profile while you are on leave.
  • Your coworker(s) make special efforts to celebrate an important event in your personal life.
  • When you are retiring from work or leaving the company.

Factors to Consider

When you write a thank you note, try and personalize it since you are showing your gratitude which comes out best when you have written a note on your own. The note itself makes the person to whom it is addressed to, feel special. Given below are a few points that you should bear in mind while writing a thank you note on your own.
  • If the coworker is fairly close to you, then you can use an informal form of address and not include your last name, otherwise you might just want to keep the letter within the limits of professionalism.
  • Mention the reason behind you thanking him or her and honestly describe how the help or the gift received from him or her actually helped you in other ways as well.
  • Do not forget to mention "Thank You" because these words will make your letter meaningful and will bear the gist of all the efforts you have taken to send this note.
  • If it is a project that your coworker(s) helped you to complete, do mention how it would have been impossible to complete it without their help.
  • You can also ask your coworker about his or her family without sounding overtly inquisitive. You can generally ask about the welfare of the family members.
  • Make sure that you mail your thank you notes and do not hand it out to your colleagues or coworkers at the office.

Sample Thank You letters


1. When writing to thank them for attending a personal event ...
Points to Remember
  • A hand-written note is more effective in conveying your emotions than a typed and printed note.
  • Depending on how close you are to the person, you can refer to them on a first name basis - especially if it is an event such as a wedding reception or the like.
  • You can include humor in informal notes.
  • You can include an anecdote from the workplace to give it a more personal touch.
Sample

Date

Dear (Name),


Thank you so much for attending my wedding reception. It made me feel really special and loved that you took out the time to make it to the function.

The gift was really beautiful and Elaine has already started using the vase to arrange all the flowers that she grows on the farm.

I'll see you at work on the 25th. Waiting to be greeted by your ever-smiling persona.**

Love,
David

** Refer to a personality trait only if you're really close to them.


2. When writing to thank them for a project they guided you on ...

Points to Remember
  • Keep it formal.
  • Mention how their guidance helped you to attain the goal.
  • Thank them for taking the time to help you.
  • Express the wish to work with them in the future.
Sample

Date

Title
Name of the Organization
Address

Dear Mr/Ms. (Name),


I want to extend my deepest appreciation for the support and help that you have lent me on my recent assignment. Thank you for taking the time and helping me with the doubts that I faced. Without your help and timely guidance, I would not have been able to complete the assignment on time, in such a proficient manner.

I was fortunate enough to work with you and get the chance to learn under your expert tutelage. Your willingness to share your abundant knowledge and expertise in this field has helped me grow professionally, in a short span of time.

I will be implementing all the suggestions that you have given me and look forward to working with you in the near future.

Thank you once again for setting such a fine example for me to follow.

Sincerely,
David


3. When writing to thank them for filling in when you were on leave ...

Points to Remember
  • Keep it formal
  • Thank them for handling extra work.
  • Offer to return the favor.
Sample

Date

Title
Name of the Organization
Address

Dear (Name),


I want to extend my deepest gratitude to you for handling my profile while I was on leave. I have always admired your time-management skills and expertise in the subject, and I could spend the time away from work with the knowledge that I have left things in very able hands.

It must not have been easy for you to manage both profiles and I thank you once again for taking the trouble. If there is ever a time when you need to take leave from work, please feel free to ask me for help.

Thanking you,
David


4. When Writing to thank them for being a part of a team in a project completion ...

Points to Remember
  • Appreciate the team work that they have put in.
  • Thank them for always being able to count on them for working under pressure and ensuring timely delivery.
Sample

Date

Title
Name of the Organization
Address

Dear (Name),


Thank you for being a part of the team and seeing project (Name) through till the end. Your knowledge in the subject and expert advise on the varied aspects of the project helped make it one of the best assignments that we have handled thus far.

We are grateful for the long hours of time that you put into this project, which involved working under pressure on most days and ensured a timely delivery.

Hoping to work with you in the near future.

Sincerely,
David


5. When writing to thank them while retiring ...

Points to Remember
  • Keep it simple.
  • You can either write a formal, generic letter for everyone in the office or a personalized letter for certain people there.
  • When writing a personalized letter, try and mention an incident or a quality about the other person.
  • Thank them for their support.
Sample 1. (Formal Letter) **

** Can be sent to many people via mail.

Date
Name of the Organization
Address

To All My Esteemed Colleagues,


This will be my last week here at (Name) and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for being a part of this journey. 15 years have passed by and I have had the opportunity to learn so much from all of you during this period.

All of you will be sorely missed, and not a day will go by without my remembering all the special memories associated with this place that you'll helped create. I will miss the pleasant and encouraging work environment here and will especially miss working with such a competent and efficient team. Thank you everyone for always being there and giving me the constant support and encouragement.

I wish you all the very best in life and hope that we meet outside the parameters of work soon.

Sincerely,
David

Sample 2. (Informal Letter) **

** Can be sent to a single person via mail or as a hand-written letter.

Date

Title
Name of the Organization
Address

Dear (Name),


As I prepare to retire from the position of (Name of the position) on the 30th of this month, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being such an esteemed colleague and a wonderful friend to me throughout my tenure here. The last 15 years would not have been the same without having a prolific team player such as yourself working with me and giving me the opportunity to learn so much in the bargain. I want to especially thank you for all the support that you've extended towards me in all these years.

Thank you again for the beautiful retirement party. It was really very special and I was touched at all the wonderful things that were said. I will definitely miss coming into work and working with you.

All the best in all your future endeavors and I hope to catch you outside the parameters of work soon.

Sincerely,
David


Thank you notes will make the bond between you and your colleagues stronger, and open up the avenues for the next time either of you need help from the other. Every one of us likes to be acknowledged for the efforts that we put in and nothing can be better than appreciating someone's sincerity, professionalism or concern by accompanying it with a thank you note.