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Business Appreciation Letters

Loveleena Rajeev
Appreciation letters are formal letters that express gratitude. Here is a brief overview about writing letters of appreciation.
The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.
- William James, American psychologist and philosopher.
A kind word of thank you can do much more than any other word. It opens up doors of communication and breaks down many barriers. This thought is applicable to business also.
Thanking, motivating or recognizing an effort of colleagues, subordinates and business associates through an appreciation letter is highly recommended even in days of telecommunication, as these letters are personal in nature and thereby highly valued.
Employers who appreciate their employees through the written word in the form of employee appreciation letters are highly regarded as very ethical and aspiring leaders. Business associates thanking each other through the medium of letters build positive healthy working relations while strengthening personal and business relationships.

Tips to Write a Business Appreciation Letter

Writing letters has always been an art, where one can pour thoughts and feelings on paper. Business appreciation letters are also the same, where one needs to express gratitude, but this is where the similarity ends.
Business letters are formal in nature, and the formality has to be maintained. It is essential to do so to maintain the hierarchy and express gratitude without breeding familiarity or sycophancy.
Whenever possible handwrite an appreciation letter on personalized stationery. If one is using the word processor, make sure the persons name (addressee) on the top and your name and signature at the bottom are handwritten. A handwritten note always shows an effort and expresses genuineness of the thoughts expressed.
A business personalized letterhead will keep give the letter a professional touch. While appreciating someone, do it within the few days of the deed done. A long awaited appreciation loses its meaning, and is seen more as an obligation.
As the letter of appreciation is one of the forms of correspondence in the workplace, it should be clear and concise. Clarity of whom it's being addressed to, what and why the person is being appreciated. Language matters, no flowery or ambiguous language. Emotionally charged words or dramatic language is also not acceptable.
The letter should be kept short and simple, with words that reflect warmth and sincerity. The letter should be ideally addressed to an individual, and in case of a group effort, one for the group collectively and also for individual team members. Mention how you would like to see similar success or action in future as well.
Be honest and sincere while writing a letter of appreciation. An insincere expression can easily be seen through and does not bear well upon the person who sent it.
Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. It is most common to see the addressee's name misspelt, avoid it. Thoroughly proofread your letter. Never thank the person beforehand, it sounds as if the writer is not very keen to write.
Appreciation letters are an excellent way of highlighting the value of an employee or a peer. The simple words help to build bridges between the upper, middle and lower management within the same company, and increases the probability of future business transactions among business houses.