Better Pleases and Better Thank Yous

Julie Shenkman
Posted by in Administrative & Clerical Services

Understanding office etiquette is one of the most important parts of being an administrative professional, especially if you manage employees or work directly with customers. It's not always easy to delegate tasks or ask for help, but two little words make it easier to persuade others to pitch in and help whenever you need assistance. Follow these office etiquette tips for getting people to help out and thanking them for their efforts.

One of the most basic rules of office etiquette is to say "please" whenever you ask for help with a task. Amanda Haddaway of says you should use this word at every opportunity because it is a common courtesy. She also says your supervisors will be more likely to notice your contributions if you treat people with courtesy and respect. Saying please when you ask someone for assistance is a great way to encourage administrative professionals and other workers to maintain a friendly work environment.

Praise from colleagues and supervisors helps some employees feel more satisfied with their jobs, so thanking people for their support is also an important part of standard office etiquette. It doesn't matter if someone took a small task off your to-do list or helped you complete a large project; you should thank the person promptly and sincerely. Your note should contain three to four sentences with specific information about the task the employee performed. Handwritten notes stand out among typed letters and impersonal email messages, so invest in high-quality note cards or stationery. Deliver the note promptly so that the employee knows you value the contribution made. If you follow the rules of workplace etiquette at all times, you will develop a reputation as someone who works well with others.

Thanking someone in person is also a great way to express your appreciation. Work/life expert Cathy Leibow says "thank you" is a very powerful phrase, but many supervisors do not take the time to thank employees for their efforts. Follow the rules of office etiquette when planning to deliver a thank-you in person. The message should be specific, timely, and meaningful so it has more of an impact on the employee. Your company may not have a formal recognition program, but you can still reward your colleagues and subordinates for their hard work.

Following the rules of workplace etiquette will help you build positive relationships and strengthen your network of professional contacts. Always say "please" and "thank you" when someone assists you, whether it is a peer or someone you supervise. When you deliver a thank-you message, make sure it is specific and timely. Adhere to the rules of office etiquette when asking people for help and recognizing them for their contributions. Doing so will make you a more valued and respected administrative professional.



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