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INTERVIEW: Neesha Thakkar on Notes of Thanks

We love recognition and appreciation in all their forms, from the awards we make here at TROPHYOLOGY to a sincere note of thanks.

For Neesha Thakkar, thank-you notes aren’t just for special occasions. They’re a vital part of her job as a supervising pharmacist at St. David’s Medical Center, part of the St. David’s Healthcare system.

When Neesha was growing up in Houston, her family taught her the value of sharing notes of gratitude. So she feels right at home in a workplace that encourages expressing appreciation, especially when employees do something that truly demonstrates the company’s values (such as integrity and compassion) and shows a commitment to exceptional care for patients.

Employees love getting these notes, Neesha says, and they share with her how much it means that someone has recognized their contributions. Part of what makes the experience special is that the notes are mailed to recipients’ homes – who wouldn’t love to receive mail that isn’t a bill these days?

She’s noticed that showing appreciation encourages the recipients to pass it along and appreciate others as well.

“It helps ingrain that practice of giving gratitude and expressing gratitude,” she says.

What about a person who claims to be too busy to write all these handwritten notes?

“I would tell that person to give it a try, and see if it changes how they feel,” Neesha says. Writing thank-you notes makes her happier, she says. And happiness leads to greater health and productivity. “(Gratitude) is an underappreciated value in our culture.”

Writing thank-you notes changes her relationship with employees as well.

“I think people pick up on it, too, when you’re grateful for what you have,” Neesha says. She adds that employees are more likely to share with her the things they have accomplished, and even outstanding contributions they have seen others make.

To support her habit of gratitude, she has a stash of varied thank-you notes, from artful to cheerful to Texas Longhorn themed (her doctor of pharmacy degree is from the University of Texas). Bookpeople is her go-to spot for finding distinctive cards. (At TROPHYOLOGY, we’re also fans of Paper Place and Paper Source.) Picking the right card for the occasion is part of the fun.

Ready to bring more gratitude to your own workplace? Neesha has some tips. Writing your note in a timely way makes it more meaningful. Be specific in telling employees what they did that was outstanding and how it relates to a higher purpose. But don’t just write thank-notes on special occasions when someone has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Thank employees for all the things they do every day that might get overlooked.

We’re grateful to Neesha for these insights and tips on gratitude — in fact, we’re off to work on our own thank-you note now.

Is appreciation a key part of your workplace, too? Have you received an especially meaningful note of thanks? We’d love to tell your story on the TROPHYOLOGY blog. Email us at communications@trophyology.com.

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