Expressing appreciation for a job well done encourages a repeat performance. Once you master the basics and create a sample thank-you letter, it will be a simple matter to customise it to any circumstance.
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Use your company or personal letterhead for a thank-you letter, rather than sending an e-mail. Sending a personally addressed letter through the mail adds to the significance and sincerity of what you have to say. Include the date, and hand sign the letter.
Write a short sentence that informs the recipient of the purpose for your letter. For example, you might say something like the following: "I'm writing this letter to let you know how pleased (excited, impressed, grateful or other appropriate term) I am about your performance."
Recap objectively, in a second paragraph, the expectations you had for the work or job assignment. For example, you could list the specifics, as in, "I asked you to retrieve the files on the Anderson matter, select the most significant quotes, verify those with the billing department and write a summary of your findings." You might also just write an overview of the job you wanted done; for example, "I assigned you the task of reorganising all the office materials and supplies jammed into that overcrowded first floor storage closet."
Explain, in a third paragraph, how your expectations were met or exceeded. You might say something like, "You followed my instructions exactly and finished the job within the time limits," or "I was impressed with how you convinced the Jones group to accept our proposal, and how much resourcefulness you showed in coming up with original ideas for the project."
Explain, in a fourth paragraph, exactly why it was important or significant that this job was carried out well. For example: "By giving such a comprehensive tour of our facility, you have opened the door to expansion for our company and our clients."
Close the letter by adding a personal note of appreciation, or a projection of the individual's future role in the company. You might say that you know that with a new baby in the family, the extra work required sacrifices. Or you might indicate that work of this calibre is likely to result in future promotions.
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