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How do You Calculate the Number of Thank You Notes to Send?

Question

I am looking for the ratio of thank you notes to direct reports. My leadership steering committee seems to think one note per quarter per employee from the manager is okay. What have you found works best?

Answer

Look at the number of staff. I feel every good employee should get at least one handwritten thank you note from the CEO or a senior administrator once every four years. It should include a mention of the manager who praised the recipient. When I was president, I wrote 10 notes a week, 48 weeks a year. We set up a system based on number of staff by unit. By having the senior leader write the note mentioning the manager who shared the information, he or she manages up the entire Leadership Team and creates alignment.

My rule of thumb is to write one thank you note for every 100 employees. For more information on how to set goals for thank you notes and hardwire them into the organization, visit www.adeak.com and read “The Power of Thank You Notes.”