Five W’s of Thank You Notes for Co-workers

thank-you One of the search queries that someone typed in recently was “thank you notes for co-workers.” I’ve talked about thank you notes for customers (including samples and what to do if you have bad handwriting), but I don’t think I have ever mentioned what a good idea it is to send thank you notes to co-workers.

In fact, it is really useful. Having a good relationship with your co-workers is just as important as having a good relationship with your best customers. Chances are that you need their help and support to be able to do your job.

Who should get them.
Co-workers, contractors, consultants, etc. It is also perfectly okay for a boss to send an employee a thank you note. For more information, see when to send them.

What to say.
Keep it simple and sincere. Say something along the lines of:


Thanks so much for helping me out on Tuesday. It means a lot to me that you took time to stay late and help me finish up the project. I know you didn’t have to and I really appreciate you doing so. You were a tremendous help and for that, I think an additional thank you is due.


Really brief, but hopefully sincere. Everything has a different style of writing and expressing themselves. The above kind of represents my style, but I think it can give you an idea.

Why send them.
It is extremely important to get along well with your co-workers and other people you need to work with. If you let them know that you appreciate them, chances are they will be a lot more likely to help you out in the future. A lot of people don’t mind helping if they feel appreciated.

Where to send them.
You can send them to the person’s office (probably most appropriate). If you know the employee well, you can send the note to their home. It is okay to hand the thank you note to the person at the office or wherever you happen to see them as well.

When to send them.
Like with customer thank you notes, you only want to send thank you notes to co-workers when the situation calls for it. If they have recently done something in particular that really helped you out, have constantly been helpful to you over a period of time (i. e. a month), etc., then it is time (and appropriate) to send a thank you note.

How they should be.
Thank you notes should be written (hopefully handwritten) on cards. No need for a Hallmark card. Just a simple piece of stationery with your note is just fine. Email is not the best medium for a sincere thank you note, but is always better than nothing.

One Response to “Five W’s of Thank You Notes for Co-workers”

  1. Glenn Ross said:

    Oct 21, 07 at 6:34 pm

    Excellent post, Doug. One of the advantages over e-mail is that you can copy that person’s boss. But, if you use a handwritten note, you can reach the same outcome by photocopying the note and sending the copy to that employee’s supervisor.