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Some companies send a "Thank you" to an employee for accomplishing certain tasks or when they want to offer him a bonus for his hard work.

Should one respond to such emails and how?

For my case specifically the company's CTO himself sent me a "Thank you" email with a small bonus which is really uncommon in our workplace so I have a feeling that I should respond in some manner.

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Respond with "Thanks"? –  Simon O'Doherty Jan 22 '13 at 13:31
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"Your appreciation is appreciated." –  pdr Jan 22 '13 at 13:48
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And make it quick. –  JeffO Jan 22 '13 at 14:57
    
@JeffO what do you mean by make it quick? –  Songo Jan 22 '13 at 15:02
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3 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Your instinct is correct. You have received two things from your CTO: (a) a gift, and conventional etiquette (per Miss Manners) calls for thanking people who give you gifts, and (b) a commendation (the "thank you" part). Since they came together and you need to acknowledge the gift anyway, you can respond with something like "thank you for the bonus and the recognition". Especially when the recognition comes from the higher levels of an organization, you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by being a gracious recipient.

Since the CTO sent you email, you should respond in kind -- partly because you're just continuing the venue he chose, and mostly because it's prompt. Making him wait several days for your response could make him think you didn't appreciate the gift. If he had sent you a letter through physical mail, then it would be more complicated: responding on paper isn't wrong, but if this is someone you interact with regularly, via email or face to face, you might consider valuing promptness over formality and using email. It's best if your response arrives before your next encounter with him, to avoid any awkwardness (did he get it? did he appreciate it?).

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+1 great answer indeed. BTW the manager sent me an email, I will fix the question to reflect that. However, good thing you talked about conventional mails too coz I used to work for a company that used them. –  Songo Jan 24 '13 at 14:47
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I don't think it necessary to always reply with "you're welcome." However, in the case of receiving a bonus or gift of some sort, I think you are obligated to reply with a "thank you."

I think the difference in this case is that your boss has gone above and beyond what would normally be expected--just as you presumably did when you performed your task that was worthy of a bonus.

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Please Explain why this your answer is correct. It is important that the OP is able to determine for them selves if the answer you provide is correct. Here you say what the answer is but do not explain why the answer is correct. From the FAQ Make sure your answer adds helpful information and is a complete, stand-alone answer... You should always include in your answer information about why you think your answer is correct. –  Chad Jan 22 '13 at 15:10
    
@Chad I'm having a difficult time understanding your comment. I don't know what to add to my answer to explain why I think it is correct. Are you just looking for a very long, verbose answer? Could you give me an example of what to add to my answer? What is 1+1? It is 2. Why? Because 1+1=2. I realize the true mathematical proof of 1+1 would be very lengthy, but is that what we want on this forum? –  Fernando Jan 23 '13 at 15:39
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We are looking for a stand alone answers. One that someone who has very little knowledge can read and decide if your answer is correct. You say what the answer is here but you do not explain why or how the OP should thank the CTO. –  Chad Jan 23 '13 at 16:02
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@Fernando "this forum" - it is worth keeping in mind that this site is not a forum. Take a look at About page if you're interested in more details on that –  gnat Jan 24 '13 at 7:46
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Yes, of course. Not only that - this is an opportunity to take advantage of, to make a connection and network.

Ask him to lunch or set-up a time to talk with him one on one, in the context of the thank you.

It could help you see some more of those bonuses, I mean thank you notes.

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