Staff recognition tips & techniques

Why a postal strike is bad for staff recognition

During the weeks and days leading up to a possible strike by Canadian postal workers, much of the conversation focused on whether anyone would notice an interruption to postal service. After all, most of us communicate via email or text message, and shop and pay bills online. Traditional mail volume has dropped by 17 per cent over the past five years. Who cares if there is a strike?

I do, and I think you should too. When there is no mail delivery, we are cut off from a powerful tool with which to recognize staff. For the very reasons stated in the previous paragraph, a handwritten thank-you note (or one saying “congratulations,” “well done!” or “happy birthday”) that arrives in an employee’s home mailbox will really stand out.

When the only mail that people receive seems to be bills, imagine how surprised recipients will be when they receive a hand-addressed envelope. It will be noticed. Its impact will be greater than most messages delivered in the workplace, especially those that come via email or are produced on a computer printer.

Whether delivered to a staff member’s home, sent through intra-office mail, or simply left on the person’s desk, handwritten notes are a type of recognition that recipients value. In many cases, they will keep handwritten notes for years—pinned to their cubicle wall or kept in a file. Every time that person sees your note, it is a reminder of a job well-done and your appreciation.

Tips for Writing Thank-you Notes

  • Write your note as soon as possible after the event or action that prompted you to thank an individual or team.
  • Be specific when describing what the person did that you appreciate.
  • Describe the impact on the company of the employee’s action—refer to values, goals or mission statement—and/or the impact on the person expressing gratitude.


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