and I’m not even that nice

This post was originally published on June 19, 2007. 

Apparently I am engaging in some sort of deviant workplace behavior.

I like to email short notes to people when they strike me as particularly awesome — and cc their boss. I never do it unless it’s sincere, but it’s not hard to find opportunities; we have a great staff and examples of well done projects or just general greatness abound. Sometimes I send the note to their boss directly, with the person I’m talking about cc’d.

It’s weird how unusual this seems to be.

Why aren’t more people doing this? It makes people feel good, it pretty much guarantees that they’ll keep up their awesomeness since everyone wants to be as cool as others think they are, they’ll be more inclined to help you out in the future, and it might inspire other people in your office to start doing the same thing, which could actually have a not insignificant impact on how nice of a place it is to work.

Seriously, send a note today to someone who you think is a rock star. Stick their boss in the cc field. If you can’t think of anyone who deserves this, send it to someone great who you deal with at another company (and then start plotting your escape from wherever you’re currently working).

{ 81 comments… read them below }

  1. Malissa

    Always great advice. I’ve done this in the past. the result is an even more awesome person to work with.

  2. Heather

    I do this. I also think it’s a good idea that their boss knows that they are doing well etc. Too often that doesn’t get communicated.

  3. Ry

    Hey, I’ve done that!

    I really appreciate it when patients or colleagues tell my clinic director that I’m doing something right… and sometimes she passes the compliment along to me, but not always. I don’t mind hearing that I did something wrong or need to do something better (how else would I learn?), but it definitely helps to balance that by hearing the compliments too.

    I’m fortunate enough to work with a group of intelligent, hard-working people, who often go way out of their way and “beyond their job description” when the situation requires it. I try to make sure to thank my colleagues when that sort of thing happens, and give them compliments. When it’s a really big deal, though, I email the colleague to say “You did an extra-great job with [X] and I’m grateful,” and I always cc the director.

    Now, I do have one work-friend who likes to stay as far below the radar as possible. I did that for her once, and she called me saying “Thank you, but I really really don’t want any attention.” So now I thank her verbally and everybody else by email :D

    Also, Alison, you just wrote that you’re taking a break! Go take a break! You deserve it!

    1. Ask a Manager

      Ha! The posts for the last few days are all auto-publishing. I set them up in advance. Now I’m just reading comments before I go frolic with goats.

    2. Josh S

      I think she *is* taking a break. Her posts are old content, re-posted. I’m guessing that on Weds or Thurs, she scheduled several posts in advance. (It’s an easy thing to set a future publish date/time for a post in WordPress.)

      1. Ry

        Sweet! Shows what I know about WordPress :)

        So. Jealous. Alison, pet a baby goat for me please! Preferably a Nubian; they’re among the cutest critters ever.

    3. Jamie

      “Now, I do have one work-friend who likes to stay as far below the radar as possible. I did that for her once, and she called me saying “Thank you, but I really really don’t want any attention.” So now I thank her verbally and everybody else by email :D”

      There are times that I’ve been uncomfortable with certain kudos or thanks put in writing. I don’t mind being thanked publicly for effort – it’s not necessary but it doesn’t bother me. I don’t always like it when it’s about something I did well, if it’s by someone who knows me. If you work with me every day and send a note that I did a great job with X, I appreciate the thought but it’s immediately followed by wondering why you’d be surprised, shouldn’t the fact that I’m capable of doing X well be a given at this point?

      But don’t go by me, the part of my brain which balances my need for validation and my uncanny ability to perceive non-existent slights broke a long time ago.

      1. Ry

        Jamie, at this point I have no doubt that you do tons of things well! If it had been a routine part of my friend’s job, I agree it would’ve been totally weird to suddenly thank her (yes, the implication would be ‘you used to be bad at this and I’m suprised you’re now competent,’ and that would be so mean and untrue).

        In this case, it was an unusual thing, not part of her regular job, and she makes the choice to stay under the director’s radar, for reasons I don’t know, but I’ve respected her boundaries ever since I learned them.

        But you’re right. If your job entails XYZ, and you’ve been doing those things well for 5 years, it would be strange and kind of offensive if I suddenly started complimenting you for doing them correctly.

        1. Jamie

          Oh, I didn’t assume your coworker had my same crazy reasoning – I was just opining because I’m taking a brief lunch at my desk and rambling is calming my nerves.

          Definitely, some awesome people want to be below the radar. It’s never a place I’ve wanted to spend my career, but sometimes I can see the appeal.

      2. Anon

        Somebody did that at my workplace, long ago before I was hired: thanked a person publicly who didn’t like it. My management took it to heart. You must NEVER thank anyone in public. OTOH, pointing out things not to do helps to teach people what’s right and to motivate the guy who screwed up. So we ended up with a culture of praise in private, shame in public. It’s improved my habits of praising people in front of others/their manager. It goes over big with my peers but my manager chuckles that I’m “soft hearted.” (We’re a no-girls-club of an IT organization, you see.) It’s sad to think that gratitude is considered pink behavior but I still do it anyway. People are catching on.

  4. Beth

    I have done this! I like to point out when people have done great work. My employer actually allows employees and supervisors to select people who’ve done outstanding work, and we call them “Gnominations” and their ‘gift’ is a traveling Gnome that they are presented with, and usually photographed with. They get to display the Gnome in their work space for about a month, and then it moves on to someone else.

    1. Ry

      Oh god, I can just see Dwight Schrute scheming to steal the gnome (as he would never deserve it but always believe he did). Best mental image of the day. Besides baby goats.

      1. Jamie

        Baby goats and Dwight Schrute in one comment.

        This may be my favorite comment. Ever.

  5. JP

    This is actually super relevant to a question I had this morning – I worked on a project and was CC’d on an email from the requestor to HIS boss about the project that praises me; would it be strange to forward that to my own boss? (For reference, I’m a temp hoping to become permanent, and a member of a small team that provides specific services to other employees – we recently conducted a survey about our helpfulness and those (positive!) results were forwarded to the whole team)

    1. Josh S

      I would suggest asking the Requestor to see if he’d be willing to forward a copy to your boss. It may seem more sincere if it comes from the client (even if it’s internal client) than if you’re passing it along.

      You could send a note back saying, “Thanks for the compliment, Requestor! It’s very encouraging to hear when things are going right, and I’m glad to know that I’ve met your expectations. If you would be willing, could you also forward this email to my boss at Boss@CompanyABC.com so that he knows that the project was completed successfully? I would greatly appreciate the favor. Thanks, JP.”

      If that doesn’t work, or the Requestor is too busy or isn’t comfortable or whatever, or never gets back to you, then yes, I think it’s perfectly OK to forward your copy to the boss. I’d include a note that says something about how your work on that project solidified your company’s relationship with the client (after all, the Requestor cc’d his boss too, right?). If you wanted, you could even try to leverage that email to get more responsibility (another project, more client-facing responsibility, whatever).

      Then, I’d also save that email in a “People Think I’m Awesome” folder. Put all your compliments there. That way, when review time comes around, you have a handy reference list of OTHERS who have concrete claims of things you’ve done well. And if you’re ever having a crappy day (getting yelled at by your boss, feeling stupid for making a mistake) you can peruse that folder and read about all the encouraging things people have said to/about you.

      Also, congrats on being super!

    2. Ry

      I’d say no, not strange! Just forward it with a note saying “isn’t this nice feedback” or something like that.

      Also, since you’re trying to get hired, print the email, and put it in the folder you hopefully have, or are making, full of documentation about why you should become permanent. Everything helps – often your manager will have to make a case to his/her manager as to why you should be hired, and the documentation will help your manager (and make them think you’re even more awesome for helping document their case).

      1. Charles

        “Just forward it with a note saying “isn’t this nice feedback” or something like that.”

        ditto. I would find it strange to ask someone else to resend it to someone else for me. Just forward it.

    3. Anonymouse

      I’d say go for it – you’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain if you can make a good impression. I know if I were a boss, I’d love to hear/see compliments about my members of staff.

      If you’re worried that it’ll come off as self-congrulatory, try phrasing the forwarded email along the lines of “X client was really happy with the delivery of Y project, and I thought you might be interested in seeing their feedback.”, rather than “Hey, look at me, aren’t I so great! Look at what X client has said about me!”.

    4. Ellen M.

      Yes, forward it to your boss! My boss encourages this, and also advised me to print them out and save them. They can come in handy when it is time to negotiate for a raise too.

      If you’re having a bad day, you can dip into your file of praise and boost your spirits.

      I also send “you rock” message and if someone is especially wonderful or performs in an outstadning way again and again over time I write him/her a recommendation on LinkedIn too.

    5. Anon

      Where I work folks aren’t shy about saying to someone who offers thanks, “I’d be grateful if you’d tell my manager that.” I’ve never heard of anyone denying such a request. We’re all in the same boat, after all: we need our managers to know the great things we do that they miss seeing. Nobody likes to brag, however much we’re told that tooting our own horns is a good thing, and peers are pretty understanding about that.

    6. littlemoose

      I don’t think it’s strange to forward it on to your boss. I’ve done that before, and my supervisors have always been happy to see the positive feedback. And I wholeheartedly agree with keeping an e-mail folder of “nice things” like that – it will really come in handy when you are looking for a raise, a plum assignment, etc. (I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who looks back on complimentary e-mails to mitigate a bad day – it helps!)

  6. Josh S

    (Sorry if this posts twice. The fake email address I included sent the post to moderation. And considering Alison is AFK for a while, I don’t think it will ever be moderated.)

    I would suggest asking the Requestor to see if he’d be willing to forward a copy to your boss. It may seem more sincere if it comes from the client (even if it’s internal client) than if you’re passing it along.

    You could send a note back saying, “Thanks for the compliment, Requestor! It’s very encouraging to hear when things are going right, and I’m glad to know that I’ve met your expectations. If you would be willing, could you also forward this email to my boss at Boss (at) CompanyABC.com so that he knows that the project was completed successfully? I would greatly appreciate the favor. Thanks, JP.”

    If that doesn’t work, or the Requestor is too busy or isn’t comfortable or whatever, or never gets back to you, then yes, I think it’s perfectly OK to forward your copy to the boss. I’d include a note that says something about how your work on that project solidified your company’s relationship with the client (after all, the Requestor cc’d his boss too, right?). If you wanted, you could even try to leverage that email to get more responsibility (another project, more client-facing responsibility, whatever).

    Then, I’d also save that email in a “People Think I’m Awesome” folder. Put all your compliments there. That way, when review time comes around, you have a handy reference list of OTHERS who have concrete claims of things you’ve done well. And if you’re ever having a crappy day (getting yelled at by your boss, feeling stupid for making a mistake) you can peruse that folder and read about all the encouraging things people have said to/about you.

    Also, congrats on being super!

    1. Josh S

      This is a response to JP that didn’t connect to his post properly. I’m so frustrated.

      Alison, PLEASE get some other commenting system soon!

        1. KayDay

          I think it works pretty well…not perfect, but better than plenty of others that I’ve used on other blogs.

    2. Nichole

      I’m glad I’m not a freak for having a brag folder. Mine is titled Yay Me; that’s what I say in my head whenever I get one of those messages, and it starts with a Y, so it’s down at the bottom of my extensive Outlook folder system rather than right in the middle. So far it hasn’t come up professionally, but it’s really nice on a crappy day when I feel like a total screw up to read e-mails about how great I am.

      1. Jamie

        If that’s the criteria, there are a lot of freaks out there. I have one, and have recommended one to every new person I’ve trained in my career. It’s SO helpful for going back before your yearly review and triggering the stuff you want to mention…and sometimes a reminder that you can hit it out of the park can be a much needed boost to get you through a bad patch.

      2. K.

        Mine is called a “Kudos” folder! My boss in my first full-time job recommended I start one, and I’ve kept up the practice nine years later. It really does help when I feel like I’m not doing anything right – helps keep negativity in check. And I absolutely email people to tell them they “did good.”

        1. ncd

          My folder is called “Appreciation.” I have an e-mail folder as well as physical file for thank you cards and the like.

      3. khilde

        I like all these other names – I’ve always called mine a “Me File.” So original, I know. I teach a class to employees about our performance evaluation system and briefly discuss the idea of a Me File in that class. It still surprises me how few people have heard of this concept!

        1. Liz in a Library

          Mine’s called “Happy Folder,” mostly because at the moment it’s used more than anything to hold my brain intact when I’m having an ‘edge of the cliff’ day at work…it helps me stay sane and happy. :)

    3. Ellie H.

      I have to disagree – I think it would be weird for him to ask the requestor to forward the email to his boss. It makes it seem like he’s obsessed with the praise to himself and has become really fixated on it. It seems like a pretty minor exchange to me and not something to blow up into a huge formal deal.

      1. Jamie

        I agree with Ellie. Not so much that it’s weird, as it’s common and I’ve had more than one person ask this of me – but it feels awkward.

        It always feel as if I told someone, “hey, cute shoes!” and they whipped out paper and asked me to put that in writing.

        Nothing wrong with just forwarding it to your boss directly. I’ve done this, and I’ve never given it a second thought (and I over think everything.) Just a forward with FYI and that’s that.

        It’s not bragging if it’s work related and you’re sending it to someone who is ostensibly in a position to want to know these things.

        If it makes you feel weird just think of it as you’re forwarding not a compliment about yourself, but an indirect compliment about your boss for having the brilliance to hire someone as awesome as yourself in the first place :).

        1. jmkenrick

          Seriously Jamie – just fax over your comments about my shoes, with date & signature. I don’t understand why this is so hard for you.

          1. Jamie

            We had a notary here, but she quit a while ago and it’s such a pain to have to go to the currency exchange to document your cute shoes.

        2. Tax Nerd

          I don’t think it’s weird to just forward it to your boss if they’ve already put it in writing and emailed it to you.

          Just forward it to your boss with a short introductory comment like “Always nice to hear compliments from our customers…”

          Occasionally clients will tell me (on the phone) how helpful I am, and I wish I were bold enough to ask for an email saying that, but I’ve always decided that would be weird.

  7. Blinx

    I’ve been on the receiving end of these notes, and they are really appreciated! I saved them to a folder and re-read them on days when I felt under-appreciated.

  8. yasmara

    Funny thing is, I just got dinged from my management for this! I have a vendor/contractor working for me who did a fantastic job on a recent project, going above & beyond. I emailed him/her to say so and copied the vendor’s manager…and a couple of weeks later there was a department-wide announcement to the staff (not the vendors) to never ever under any circumstances put anything in writing that a vendor is doing exceptionally well.

    Apparently, my vendor used my email to help justify asking for a raise they wanted from their vendor company…and then vendor manager complained to my company’s management…

    Any compliments I want to give in the future have to be verbal only. SIGH.

    1. The Other Dawn

      Or sometimes the company wants to keep the vendor thinking that they’re doing just fine, but maybe not good enough that the company won’t start looking around for a new vendor when the contract renewal comes up. It *supposedly* keeps the vendor on their toes, always doing their absolute best because they don’t want to lose the contract. Yeah. OK.

  9. Janet

    A few months ago at a large staff meeting, a director from another area was presenting on a project I’d done a lot of work on and at the end he said “And thanks to Janet who did a lot of the prep work on this project.” – I thanked him for the call-out later. He was like “Well, of course, you did all of the work.” and seemed surprised that I was so touched. But honestly I think that was the first time in 12 years of working where someone gave me a shout-out on a project and didn’t just say “It was a team effort” when it was really just a team of two (them and me).

    1. Esra

      “It was a team effort”

      I kind of hate that. Where I work individual people rarely get called out in a good way because it might hurt the feelings of those that didn’t get called out.

      1. Jamie

        This was a problem for me recently, and I did the team effort cop out and it didn’t feel right.

        We’re in the middle of a huge project, I can’t even tell you how much effort has gone into this from so many people over the last several months. So when we passed a certain benchmark and had a lunch to thank everyone for that (and remind them to stay in gear as we weren’t done yet) I gave a little speech. I actually had written it with acknowledgment for individuals, but then I took it out as there were a handful of people I really couldn’t sincerely praise. I wussed out, because even the minimal effort some people were contributing was needed and I was afraid of losing that if I offended someone.

        Believe me, I have made no secret in multiple meetings with upper management who went above and beyond – and who I couldn’t have done without – but I’m not sure the all of the people themselves know that at this point.

        I shouldn’t have edited that. We’re coming up on the finale and I’m going to make sure I don’t do that again.

        1. Janet

          I think “team effort” is fine if it truly is a large team of people. Very often though I work on a small team where it’s one director and me on a project. Or it’s a very small marketing team of just three people. So to say “Well, it was a team effort” when you could easily say “Special thanks to Jeff and Amy for their hard work” sucks. But if it was actually 8 months of work and it was Jeff, Amy, Sebastian, Leo, Agatha, Mary, Janet, Jim, Leo . . . etc, well, yeah, that could take forever.

      2. Anon

        I *really* hate a careless thanks. “It was a great project! Thanks to everyone who participated. You know who you are!” That just screams that the person doesn’t know who I am or what I did and doesn’t care. He’s just doing “recognition” in a sort of mass-production way. But it’s not recognition if he doesn’t recognize anything. IMHO, people who do that would do better to just not say anything at all.

  10. Marie Wiere

    Love this!

    I think the same concept can apply to when you receive great customer service too. If you see a manager on duty or if you’re asked at check out who helped you, why not take a few minutes to mention an employee who went above and beyond? Doing so could help them and at the very least will make them feel appreciated.

    1. Nichole

      Absolutely this. I was just ranting the other day after I saw a guy at a fast food restaurant get hateful with an employee for no reason. Positive feedback can help counteract the steady stream of venom that a lot of customer service reps deal with.

    2. Tamsin

      It really does. My father in law complimented our server at dinner the other night and she nearly teared up. You have to deal with so many crazy, rude people in customer service, so getting a compliment, or even just being treated with respect, is so huge.

    3. class factotum

      Years ago, I wrote a note to a woman at Penney’s who had worked really hard to help me find some shoes. A few months later, I got a note from her thanking me for the note and telling me that it had been the key thing that had gotten her a new, better job.

    4. jmkenrick

      This! I worked in customer service, and I alwasys saved the e-mails from people telling me that I had done a good job. You deal with so many people who are already angry by the time they get to you, that this is wonderful and regenerating.

      Even more wonderful and even more rare? People who start off angry, then realize it was “user error” the whole time, and send a message apologizing. It restored my faith in humanity, every time.

  11. CatB (Europe)

    Sadly, it didn’t occur to me, while I was an humble employee, to harvest such notes. But I have them in my memory, for what is worth. The fondest one dates back in 1993 when, in my first job (sales, away from the office town) I had a field visit from my Country Manager and one of big company VIP’s (it was a tobacco multinational). When we met (they went by themselves), my manager told me dryly “I’m utterly dissapointed in your work”; the VIP calmly waited for him to walk away, then told me “You did a great job out there”, then, after a pause, he completed “Good jobs should always be told”. That particular memory kept me functioning for the whole 3 years with that company.

    Now I always keep the feedback forms form my students. They remind me, in case I forget, why I love being a trainer.

    1. Jamie

      That was 19 years ago and you still remember that conversation. I have a couple too, dating back almost a decade.

      Just proof that this stuff does have an impact.

      That’s why I do it for others as well. But I do use care to make sure I’m always sincere. I’ve worked with people who are always throwing out emails and compliments about every little thing and it is sweet, but the message can become meaningless if everything is a big deal.

      1. CatB (Europe)

        Yup, one of my fondest professional memories ever. Maybe that’s why I like telling a vendor, a waiter or a Client Service person when they do a great job for me (besides the pretty smile this draws, and the idea that – maybe – I managed to get some good into an otherways trying day).

        On the other hand, I receive also hideous calls from inept salesmen. Since I’m (among others) a sales trainer, these calls last anywhere from a quarter to a half of an hour and usually end with the guy thanking me for the free advice. That’s another way to do some good to others around you (somewhat like what Alison is doing here, only scaled waaaaay down!)

        1. Tax Nerd

          I have a conversation like this in my memory from the second year of my career in public accounting. (Thankfully, it was all in email.)

          A client where I did a small piece of work emailed me about some other work that a different department was bidding on. She told me that she’d already decided to go with my firm because she liked us so much. I forwarded it to my boss with a “What bid is she talking about??” kind of intro, because I was completely uninvolved in that other work, and knew nothing about it..

          A month or so later, my grand-boss wrote her a polite email thanking her for thinking of us. She wrote him back absolutely gushing about what a “great partnership” we had and how much she liked working with us. That email got forwarded to my manager with a “You guys must be doing something right.” My senior manager responded (and cc’d me) “That’s all Tax Nerd’s doing. She’s built the relationship and handled that client herself.”

          I got a bonus and promotion later that year. I think I would have gotten the promotion anyway, but the bonus was unexpected, and I give credit to that client for writing that email.

  12. Anonymous

    I work for Google, and one of the things Google does is support “peer bonuses”. If someone goes particularly out of their way to help, you can actually nominate them to get a small amount of $$$ on top of their paycheck. It’s not much, but it’s a really great way of saying “thanks for going the extra mile”.

    1. Tamsin

      I second this. As an IT person myself, I tend to go out of my way to help people who have been very nice to me, or they do stuff for me in return. I put them at the top of the list when it comes to tech issues. However, if you pushy and rude with me, you drop to the bottom of my list. Don’t piss off tech support.

      1. Jamie

        (To Tasmin only – no one else read this part: Shhhhhh. We’re not supposed to let non-IT people in on that. It’s supposed to be our little secret.)

        To Everyone Else: IT would never reorder the helpdesk queue based on our personal feelings. After all we’re in IT, most users assume we don’t have feelings. We are always 100% completely impartial – like Spock without the annoying human half.

        And yeah, don’t piss off tech support is good advice.

      2. Chinook

        Same things happens with receptionists and admin assistants. Treat us rudely and we might “accidentally” send you through to the voicemail of someone who no longer works there rather than help you with your problem. Or your mail becomes the last thing sorted. Or your project put at the bottom of the urgent pile. Or the coffee not made on time. Or…

        Passive aggressiveness can be fun!

        1. Anonymous

          At the Worst Job In The World, I tried to get the people in my department to pitch in money to buy the receptionist flowers or something for Administrative Professionals Day. Every single person in my department said, “Why? She’s not OUR secretary.” Really? She’s the gatekeeper, both for people walking in and for telephone calls; she’s unfailingly nice to every employee; she works for the whole company, not just one department. Jerks. I bought her flowers myself.

          1. Anonymous

            Yes. This is what admins deal with.

            Thank you for recognizing her. That’s what counts!

    2. Charles

      “special” brownies?

      Hey, be sure to keep those brownies away from the goats!

      Those kids will be jumping all over the place and when the “munchies” kick in they will eat everything in sight!

  13. Anonymous

    I worked for over 3 years at a company that sapped every bit of energy from me and then some. However, the one thing they did really right is they implemented a “great job!” program. If you notice that someone did something over and above their job, you sent a note to their boss with a request for a “great job!” bonus. The boss would approve it and give the employee a token, which the employee turned in for a $20 gift card of their choice (there were something like 50 different gift cards to choose from).

    The reason for going through the boss was so that people weren’t just giving their friends $20 gift cards for random things. When they announced it, I thought the managers would only approve them for the people they liked (yes, I know that’s bad management; did I mention that this was my worst job ever?), but they were all really good about it. I got a couple for a project I took on for another department, even though my boss hated me.

  14. Heather

    I read this and was reminded to do this! I sent a thank you and copied the person’s boss today :-) Thanks Allison!

  15. Michael C.

    I actually had a couple of these sent my way. It’s nice but it did make me feel a little uncomfortable – I’m really shy and don’t like unwarranted attention, especially since whenever I get one of these, I’m just doing my job, plus, I didn’t do anything above and beyond (I don’t like setting people’s expectations high?). I would much prefer a brief ‘thank you’ to myself or, if you have to write out something in detail, just send it over to my manager.

    No need to provide unwarranted praise unless it is EXCEPTIONAL work, maybe that’s the key difference…

  16. Tony

    I too have one of these folders, but most are from a job two or three years ago (last few years haven’t had much of a compliment-friendly, or even a cohesive culture at that matter) and right now I’m in a temp job that won’t be permanent – not because of my performance or anything, they just needed help for the last several months and told me they don’t plan to keep this position a permanent option because they can’t afford it in the long run.

    So, I’m wondering if it would be wise to bring these compliments to my future interviews or if it’s too long ago to really have any affect. Plus, they might even wonder why I haven’t received much since then. And, since we shouldn’t bad mouth our previous employers, it’s hard to explain that my boss sucked…

    Any advice is appreciated, so please be honest! I know most posts are cheery and more “go for it” but if it’s not something you think I should do, please let me know.

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I wouldn’t bring them. First, they *are* likely to wonder why there aren’t more recent ones, but more importantly, I wouldn’t typically bring these sorts of messages along in hard copy, unless there’s one or two that are really detailed and phenomenal (and then I’d just bring those). If you brought something that was just like “thanks for your help with that project; you helped me meet that deadline,” it’s not going to look strong enough to justify it. However, you can certainly mention on your resume that you were frequently lauded for __ and ___ and that job.

  17. Vicki

    The company I worked at most recently formalized this sort of thing with something they call “Bravos”. A Bravo is public kudos to another employee. It goes on their directory page on the internal web site! The employee and her manager also get a copy by email.

  18. Tony

    No, I don’t tend to keep those ones, I’m talking more along the lines of detailed ones from my last sales job saying that I kept them a customer when they had originally came in to leave our service, ones where they detail how I went above and beyond for them, ones where they say that as long as I’m there, they will stay a customer, etc. I have almost 50 of them (customer surveys, customers emailing my manager, company recognition, etc.) , and they are awesome, but like I said, they’re pretty old…

  19. khilde

    I love doing this – but I mostly do it when I’m a customer at retail, restaurants, etc. It is THE BEST thing ever to watch an employee’s face go from complete and utter panic when I ask their boss’ name to bewliderment and happiness when I tell them I’d like to send a note to their boss for their great service. It has NEVER failed to make a customer service person’s day and I love doing it. I would say I get a response rate of about 50% from the establishment.

    I do a lot of travel for my job and have to check out company vehicles. I work with the same person to get the vehicles and she’s always very helpful in dealing with my changes, etc. So I sent a note to her boss (maybe even twice, a few years apart). No response. It frustrates and baffles me how a supervisor can get a kudos on his employee, yet not even find the time to reply back and say “thanks, we like her too.”

  20. Anonymous

    I WISH people at my company would do this! It would make my job just a little less painful.

    Most days, no one even speaks to me!

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