Virtual Teams: The Importance of Saying Thank You in Emails

When I was a kid I used to love Christmas and birthdays and all the presents that came with them. The part I hated was the thank you letters my parents made me write afterwards. Of course I didn’t appreciate how necessary they were at the time,  after all I’d said thanks after tearing off all the paper, hadn’t I? But learning to show appreciation and gratitude is probably one of the best lessons parents can teach. I may not have been grateful then, but I definitely am now.

Now, working in virtual teams, I find myself offended when someone doesn’t say thank you. You answer their email, do something for them, and somehow the conversation isn’t closed with a simple thank you.

It is really only a few words, how much can it hurt to write back a couple of words to someone who has helped? In the virtual setting the normal face-to-face office environment is missing.  We therefore need to make sure that we make up for that.  So, just write a simple thank you mail. It only takes a minute and, if you use some of the phrases below, it might only take a few seconds. It will though, dramatically improve the reader’s feelings toward you– and they might be that much happier to help next time.

Phrases for saying thank you:

The phrases here are ordered according to the level of formality or the importance of what they did. Use a phrase, and add a sentence or two to personalize the message – it really doesn’t need to be long.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for…VTchecklists

I am very grateful for …

I really appreciate ……

Thank you so much!

Thanks for your … (time, contribution, effort, etc.)

Thanks.

An example thank you email:

Hi Karen,

Thanks so much for helping me out this week with the mini-staffing crisis. You really helped the team and I particularly appreciated your flexibility and eagerness to try out something new.

Thanks again,

Kate

Showing considerateness is an important part of working in virtual teams. Let us know if you have any other suggestions in the comments area below.

 

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