It was many years ago now, but I still remember receiving a hand-written card from a divisional President when I was promoted to General Manager. I wasn’t even within his reporting structure! It meant a lot to me that he would take the time to send me such congratulations. I’ve never forgotten that.
As a Leader saying thank you is important, but sometimes it isn’t enough. Although it’s important and easy to say thank you, the words fade quickly and soon become forgotten. Sending an email to say thanks is good, but then again your team likely receives many emails a day, so once again, it’s important but not good enough for some things. Sending a hand written note, letter, or card to express your congratulations, gratitude, thanks, well wishes, or encouragement is the way to go.
So what does a hand written card offer that words or an email does not?
- A hand written card takes a little effort and is deliberate.
- You can express your message clearly and articulately.
- Sending the card to the person’s home is a great way for your team member to be appreciated or recognized in front of their family.
- A card including the family, or to the family, is also a great way to appreciate their perseverance and support through some challenging times that the team member has been through or accomplished.
Although sending a card or note is at the leader’s discretion, here are some examples where a note is appropriate:
- Achievement of a milestone or objective
- Going above and beyond expectations
- Manages or leads through a crisis
- Demonstrating or exemplifying a core company value
- Being customer obsessed
- Persevering through some challenging times
- Going through a personal hardship
- Mentoring or coaching others
So what’s your excuse preventing you from sending a card? Oh, you don’t have any cards? Well, I happen to know of an on-line retailer that sells them!