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20-40-60 etiquette: Put in a good word for good work

QUESTION: Is it OK to write a letter of appreciation to someone who has performed his job with great kindness and professionalism? Should I write the supervisor to tell about the person or directly write to the person himself?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: Yes! You could write the supervisor and person. This is so very kind and thoughtful. We need more people like this in the workforce to show appreciation.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: The more encouragement you can put out into the world, the better the world is. I love championing other people for great work (and, on a side note, would like to be a better letter-writer). It makes sense to tell both the person and the supervisor. It would mean something to the employee that you noticed a job well done and that you cared enough to write a supervisor. You can simply send a letter to or email the supervisor and send a copy of what you said to the employee. It’s also nice for supervisors to hear their employees are doing a good job.

HELEN’S ANSWER: The supervisor AND the professional person would love to hear from you! It is so important for people to know that good jobs are being done every day. The person who did his job needs to know that someone cares and the supervisor needs to know the worker is both kind and works on a professional level.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Clytie Bunyan, director of business and lifestyles for The Oklahoman: It's always good to let someone know they are appreciated. Too often we notice and comment when someone is not doing a good job and take for granted those who do. Feedback is important in the workplace. A note of appreciation also could be the impetus for someone to continue to do well. But you also should let that person's supervisor know you appreciate his professionalism.

Since 2009, Callie, Lillie-Beth and Helen have written this generational etiquette column. They also include guest responses from a wide range of ages each week. So many years later, Callie is 20-plus; Lillie-Beth is 40-plus and Helen is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email

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