20+ Employee recognition message examples

Employee recognition messages are cards, letters, emails, and documents sent to an employee to acknowledge their contribution to the organization's welfare.

There may be a broad range of reasons for sending a recognition message, such as completing a difficult task, accomplishments and outstanding performances, working over hours in hard times, volunteering, service anniversary, and others. However, its purpose is to show your appreciation and gratitude by reminding employees that their efforts are noticed.

What is Employee recognition?

Employee recognition is the process of acknowledging and appreciating employees for their hard work, achievements, efforts, and contributions to the business. It is a way to show appreciation for a job well done and to motivate employees to do even better in the future. It may include giving verbal praise, awards, bonuses, or other forms of recognition, such as gifts or recognition events. By recognizing employees’ hard work, businesses can boost morale, build loyalty, and increase motivation in the workplace.


Why does Employee Recognition Matter?

Employee recognition motivates people to be more responsible and involved. It's a simple way to individualize them and express your appreciation directly. And it's essential to do this because people who feel they don't matter in the eyes of the company will soon look for another job. Therefore, sending an encouraging recognition message at the right time reduces turnover. Instead of investing in hiring campaigns, you should invest in employee recognition projects.

Employee recognition is also a way of thanking people for their effort and commitment during hard times. If you expect your employees to work overtime, volunteer, or cover for an absent colleague, you should find a way to acknowledge their contribution. Otherwise, their engagement will decrease over time, and next time you face a crisis, no one will be willing to help. Employee recognition increases loyalty and camaraderie and unites people in front of adversities.

Many companies use peer-to-peer recognition programs because they create stronger relationships between employees. Instead of receiving a thank you letter from their superior; people receive letters from their colleagues and peers. It creates a happy work environment, and a happy work environment keeps employees happy and makes it harder for them to leave the team.

Companies with recognition programs highly effective at improving employee engagement have 31 percent lower voluntary turnover than their peers with ineffective recognition programs. Bersin by Deloitte Study


Top 5 Benefits of Sending Employee Recognition Messages

If you want to measure the importance of employee recognition, you should look at the following quantifiable benefits. They help you get an idea of how a simple employee recognition culture impacts the development of your company:

  1. A positive impact on financial results – When employees feel appreciated and respected, their performance improves. They are more responsible, creative, and hard-working. All of these translate into increased productivity and higher product quality. As a result, the organization will be more profitable.
  2. A positive impact on employee engagement – A recognition message sent at the right time (e.g., work anniversary) lets people know you care about them. In return, they will care about the company. In companies with recognition programs, employees are more willing to work overtime, tackle demanding tasks, or engage in challenging projects. They will give their heart and soul for the welfare of the organization. Recognition programs win people's trust and make them feel better about themselves and their jobs.
  3. Lower turnover (including volunteers and collaborators) – Not feeling appreciated is one of the main reasons employees leave their jobs. It also applies to volunteers and collaborators. Therefore, companies with a strong employee recognition culture and program have better turnover rates. Furthermore, they find new employees and collaborators easier, even if they pay the same or less than the competition.
  4. Lower frustration levels, happier and healthier employees – The welfare of the employees is crucial for the company. When people feel acknowledged and respected, their life-work balance improves. They are less stressed and calmer. As a result, they will engage in fewer work conflicts, develop better relationships with their colleagues, and find fewer reasons to miss work. If you invest in recognition, you will notice decreased absenteeism, better leave planning, and smoother HR processes.
  5. A positive impact on customer satisfaction – A happy and healthy employee means a happy customer. People who feel appreciated are more likely to care for their job and the products and services they provide. The improvement in product and service quality will attract new clients. The good energy of the employees will create a better experience for the customer. And don't forget that happy customers = satisfied employees.


What Words to Include in an Employee Recognition Letter?

Just as you wouldn't write a birthday message without saying Happy Birthday, a recognition letter includes a few keywords.

First, and the most important, is to include the addressee's name and title. It should be very clear to whom you are sending the message. You should also mention your name and position within the company. If you speak on behalf of a larger group (e.g., a team, department, etc.), you should mention it in the message.

An employee recognition letter should also include the words "you" and "I/we". It makes the letter more personal and relevant. It also lets people know you speak directly to them and not send an automated message.

Don't forget to include the reason behind the recognition message. Use words like "reason", "because", and "occasion" to indicate the special result or milestone you want to emphasize. Also, use words that show your appreciation, such as "thank you", "appreciate", "admire", "respect", and so on.

Employees will want to know the impact of their actions. For example, how working overtime saved the company from delaying orders. Or why volunteering for a task improved the financial results of the month. Or how their leadership qualities built a stronger team and defeated the competition.

An employee recognition letter should have a positive tone and emphasize the qualities that made the difference.


Example Employee Recognition Messages

1. Employee recognition letter for covering absent colleague

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

On behalf of [team/department/company], I would like to thank you for stepping in and covering for your absent colleague. Your professionalism and willingness to go the extra mile produced an excellent experience for our customers and helped us maintain our high-quality standards.

We are grateful for your hard work and engagement. Employees like you make this place a better company and are an example to us all. Thank you for your effort!

Best regards

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: When an employee covers for an absent colleague, they need to get their time back. Grant them extra time off or reduce their daily schedule for a week or two. Allow them to rest and recover.

Important: If you're looking to improve absence management, we have a system to solve your problems.


2. Employee recognition letter for great work

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

I want to thank you for a successful experience on  [name of the task/project]. I couldn't have done it without you. Your proactive attitude made all the difference in completing the task on time. 

I sincerely look forward to working with you again on future projects.

Warm regards,

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: When an employee stood out for outstanding work performance, reward them with extra time off to spend with their families. A good balance between work and life outside the office improves employees' health and keeps them motivated and happy.

Tip: If you need a time-off manager to keep track of your employees PTO requests, give a try to LeaveBoard.


3. Employee recognition letter for outstanding performance

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

I would like to congratulate you on your outstanding performance on the [task/project/conference]. 

Your creativity and dedication are an inspiration to us all. And your willingness to work extra hours and friendly attitude towards your coworkers made all the difference. Your colleagues have only praise words for you.

It has been a great experience having you with us, and I hope to work together soon.

Best wishes,

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: Outstanding performance calls for public recognition. Show your appreciation for the best employees by mentioning their achievements on company's social media, intranet, or monthly newsletter.

Learn how to setup employee performance goals and objectives.


4.    Employee recognition message for specific goal attainment

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

On behalf of [team/department/company], I would like to congratulate you for achieving your goal this month and increasing the company’s profit and visibility. Your professionalism and hard work impress us every day. We are very happy to have you on our team. Employees like you make this place a better company and are an example to us all.

Keep up the good work!

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: Motivate your employees to achieve their goals by creating an award program that recognizes and rewards reaching targets periodically. Alongside a few appreciation words, you can reward the employees with financial bonuses or extra benefits.


5.    Employee recognition message for a successful presentation

Dear [Employee Name],

The presentation you held yesterday at XXX Conference was outstanding. I congratulate you for finding the time to research and develop such innovative ideas. You are an inspiration to us all. 

Your perspective on [presentation topic] and how you implemented [presentation methods] keep us in front of the competition and help us deliver the best products and services to our clients. Thank you for your contribution!

All the best,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: Encourage your employees to take part in business-related events and present their work to their peers. It improves the company's image and boosts employees' morale. Reward them by reducing their task load to have time to finish their presentations, granting extra time off, or offering them a relaxing day outside the office.


6.    Employee recognition letter for work anniversaries, promotions, or achieving milestones

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

On behalf of [team/department/company], I would like to congratulate you on your upcoming work anniversary / receiving a promotion / reaching the next milestone. We are grateful and proud to have a phenomenal coworker on our team for so long. Employees like you motivate us to be better professionals and people. We appreciate your loyalty, dedication, and attitude.

Best wishes,

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: When an employee reaches 3 years in service, on a Friday afternoon, bring all the team together to celebrate with some cake, some chips, juices and why not a glass of champagne this milestone. It's a great way to create social bonding, help employees to know better each other, and acknowledge hard work.

Related: Find additional happy work anniversary wishes.


7.    Employee recognition letter for acknowledging unique skills, insights, or expertise

Dear [Employee Name],

We’ve known each other for a long time, and I have to say you truly inspire me. Your ability to [cope with difficult situations / find solutions / research / communicate / analyze data / etc.] and your background in [field of activity] awe me every time. I can always count on your expertise and advice. You are a professional in every aspect, but you keep learning and studying, acquiring new skills, and improving yourself.

Thank you for being on my team,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: When an employee denotes unique and valuable skills, the best way to reward them is to invest in their future development. Pay for training, classes, or courses that will help them move on in their career.

If you look for ideas about what are possible areas of improvement for your workforce, we have some ideas.


8.    Employee recognition message acknowledging attitudes and soft skills

Dear [Employee Name],

We work in a tough industry where performance and technology come first. However, you never forget that people need a kind word from time to time. Your ability to support, educate, comfort, and motivate amazes me every day. 

You are an endless resource for good advice, humor, and kindness. Your open and positive attitude helps each and every one of us and makes this place the perfect workplace.

Don’t ever change!

All the best,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: Social skills are gold. Furthermore, they are catchy. Reward emotional intelligence by planning a small party at the office or allowing employees to take a long lunch break and enjoy some time together.


9.    Employee recognition message for acknowledging personal growth and willingness to learn

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

On behalf of [team/department/company], I would like to congratulate you on your last achievements in personal growth. You have our deepest respect for your extraordinary willingness to learn and grow. Not everyone can take on the challenge or not give up halfway through. We all look up to your determination, humbleness, and resilience.

Please remember we support your initiatives and wish you all the best in your career and personal life.

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: Support employees willing to learn and grow by checking something off their bucket list. It may be bungee-jumping or taking acting classes. They will appreciate your support and confidence in their abilities more than any financial reward.


10.    Employee recognition message for acknowledging professional development

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

On behalf of [team/department/company], I would like to congratulate you on your latest professional developments. We are thankful to have on our team people who continue to learn, acquire new skills, and reach high levels of expertise. 

By [finishing your education / graduating the course / completing the training], you repeatedly prove that this isn’t just a job for you. It’s a passion you pursue with all your heart and energy. We support long-term development and your ambition to continue your personal and professional development.

Best regards,

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: Professional development calls for celebration (e.g., an office party, a fancy dinner, etc.), but also for support. Reward this achievement by offering mentorship or career consulting and helping employees find their way towards professional success.


11.    Employee recognition letter for acknowledging dedication

Dear [Employee Name],

During the last period, your dedication and commitment impressed us. Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude and respect. Thank you for devoting so much time and energy to our cause, raising awareness of the issues we still have, and helping us grow. It meant a lot to us to have your positive attitude and undefeatable energy on our side. Once again, thank you!

All the best,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: When an employee denotes dedication, you have to make it public. Encourage peer-to-peer recognition to help employees motivate and support each other.


12.    Employee recognition letter for initiative-taking

Dear [Employee Name],

Lately, it wasn’t an easy time for the company. Therefore, you taking the initiative and managing the [project/task] by yourself was an enormous help to us. We appreciate your proactive attitude, problem-solving ability, and loyalty in difficult times. You are an example for your team members. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.

Best wishes,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: If taking initiative in hard times goes unnoticed, people won't do it next time. Therefore, reward initiative-taking with gifts, financial bonuses, and personalized benefits. Show people you are thankful for their involvement and responsibility.


13.    Employee recognition letter for providing excellent customer service

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

On behalf of [team/department/company], I would like to thank you for providing the best customer service last month. We are very fortunate to have you on our team. We rely on employees like you to provide the best experience to our clients, inquire for feedback, and go the extra mile to solve all their problems. Our company aims to be the best in the market, and the way we treat our clients is essential in achieving our goals. Thank you for supporting us and giving your best.

Best regards,

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: When an employee is appreciated by your clients, they deserve the best treatment. Send them in teambuilding, treat them with a surprise candy bar, or prepare a fun activity during lunch break.


14.    Employee recognition message for teamwork

Dear [Employee Name],

I would like to thank you for your team spirit and engagement. We greatly appreciate how you treat your colleagues, always finding time and energy to support and encourage them. Under your supervision, the [team name] has become one of the best, an example of good cooperation, friendship, and hard work. Thank you for all the good values you bring to our company.

All the best,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: Encourage teamwork by rewarding your best teams with quality time. Allow them to choose their reward and have a day off or a party. Gift them with similar gifts to make them feel special but also more united.

Looking for inspiration: Discover 21 Team Building Activities.


15.    Employee recognition message for leadership

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

I would like to congratulate you on your leadership abilities. Your team loves you, and for good reasons. Under your supervision, the [team name] has become one of our best teams. They meet deadlines with ease and encourage a trustful and transparent work environment. People are happy to be at work, develop friendships, and don’t have conflicts in ages. I know, and they know you always have their back.

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

All the best,

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: Good leaders are hard to find. So if you have them in your team, encourage their performance by sending them to training and specializations that fit their skills. Mentorships and career consulting are also good ways to reward a leader.


16.    Employee recognition letter for consistency and reliability

Dear [Employee Name and Title],

“Trusting is hard. Knowing who to trust, even harder.” - Maria V. Snyder

I know I can trust you, which brings me much joy and contentment. You are an example of consistency and reliability. Few companies can be proud of an employee like you. Over time, people come and go, but only a few remain, and one can rely on ever fewer. Thank you for being part of our journey. We appreciate all your effort, willingness to help, and dedication. We wouldn’t be the same without you.

Best regards,

[Name and Title of the Sender]

Tip: When an employee has your back in any condition, you need to pay it back. Based on the employee's preferences, choose between public recognition or a one-to-one conversation to show your appreciation and support. Remember, such employees will become the successful managers of tomorrow.


17.    Employee recognition message for supporting company values

Dear [Employee Name],

I would like to show my gratitude for your support of our company values. We’ve worked hard to create and grow a set of principles and values that embody our work ethics. We value sustainability, honesty, and trust over profit and popularity. Not many companies can say that. But it’s employees like you that motivate and inspire us to continue growing and educating, finding time for volunteering, and taking care of the environment. Thank you for being on our side!

Keep up the good work,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: A strong company culture will take you far. Reward employees supporting the company's values by getting involved in a charity of their choice, volunteering, or implementing their ideas at the office.


18.    Employee recognition letter for acknowledging constant innovation

Dear [Employee Name],

I would like to show my appreciation for your constant efforts to find new and innovative solutions. Many projects rely on your ability to solve problems, research, and analyze data. Your participation in conferences, fairs, and other events makes us proud every time. We value your expertise and creativity, but most of all, we value your commitment to delivering the best products and services to our customers, educating the market, and supporting a sustainable industry. Keep up the good work!

Congratulations!

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: When an employee is a constant resource of innovative ideas, he or she needs two things: inspiration, which may come from attending business-related events and having access to resources, and relaxation, which may come from spending time with their families or doing something fun with their colleagues.


19.    Employee recognition letter for adaptability and problem solving

Dear [Employee Name],

You stand out as a problem-solving guru who can adapt quickly to every situation and come up with the best ideas. We respect your creativity, analytic judgment, and expertise. You proved yourself over and over again. Now it’s time for us to show our appreciation and recognize the value of your work. Thank you for standing with the company and helping us create a better future.

Success in your career, and all the best,

 [Name of the Sender]

Tip: Motivate adaptability and problem solving skills by organizing contests and giving awards. A point system that leads to benefits or financial bonuses keeps people engaged and proactive.


20.    Employee recognition letter for mentorship

Dear [Employee Name],

You are a good employee and team member and an excellent mentor who helped many of our younger employees over time. I would like to thank you on behalf of [department/company] for your efforts, care, and kindness. You always find time for a colleague in need or advice for a new employee. You always know what each of them needs and how to motivate them to find their path. You bring nothing but joy and trust, and we are grateful for that.

We wish you all the best!

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: Recognize publicly the benefits of mentorship and encourage people to show their appreciation towards their mentors. People who love helping other want to see them happy and successful. Thank you messages coming from all directions will make their day.

If you are lokking for new ways to show appreciation to your people, we have 30 appreciation ideas which you can get inspired from.


21.    Employee recognition message for welcoming a new hire

Dear [Employee Name],

I take the opportunity to welcome you to my team and let you know how much we appreciate your background and expertise. You are a great addition to the group, and we are happy to have you with us. I hope we’ll have a long journey together and support each other all the way. Let me know if you need anything to make your accommodation process easier!

Thank you for joining the team,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: Make a new employee feel welcome by preparing a small welcome gift or office party. Bring all the team together and let them get to know each other over some cake, snacks, pizza, juices and coffee.

Find 30+ examples of welcome messages for your new employees.


22.    Employee recognition message from the manager

Dear [Employee Name],

I take this opportunity to thank you for your contribution to the team. As a manager, all I want is to see my team achieve the best results, cooperate, and benefit from a trusty and inclusive work environment. It’s a pleasure to see how employees like you develop their careers, embrace new challenges, and become better professionals and people. I hope we can count on each other for a long time. This team wouldn’t be the same without you.

All the best,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: A recognition message from the manager may be accompanied by an appreciative reference letter or recommendation. For example, writing a kudos on their LinkedIn profile or making a public mention on a social media channel, makes the employee feel acknowledged and motivated.

If you want to master people management, we have a set of skills plus tips that can help you make a huge difference.


23.    Employee recognition message for peer recognition

Dear [Employee Name],

We’ve been working together for X years, but I feel I’ve never had the chance to tell you how much I appreciate being your colleague. You are a truly professional, always looking to expand your horizon, acquire new skills, and improve yourself. Furthermore, you are kind and supportive, fun to be around, and a trustworthy person. I like working with you but also discussing new ideas or developing new projects. You are an innovator, and your creativity is catchy. Thank you so much for everything!

Best wishes,

[Name of the Sender]

Tip: Accompany a peer recognition message with an invitation for an activity outside the office. Get to know your colleagues in real life, meet their families, and build friendships. The company may also encourage peer recognition by organizing teambuilding activities, spontaneous office breaks, and fun meetings.


Other Examples to Express Employee Recognition

Sending a message or a letter is a thoughtful way of showing appreciation and recognition. However, it isn’t the only way. Employee recognition programs may (and should) include other methods of thanking your employees. Some of the most popular and well-received employee recognition program ideas include:

Accompanying the employee recognition message with a symbolic gift.

Presenting regular awards to the employee of the month, the employee of the year, the best achiever, the best teammate, and others. 

  • Celebrating years of service with the entire team
  • Celebrating birthdays with the whole team
  • Publicly appreciating the employees in meetings, intranet, social media, etc.
  • Accompanying the employee recognition message with a surprise celebration.
  • Granting extra time off.
  • Encouraging peer-to-peer recognition regularly.
  • Offering financial bonuses.
  • Planning a one-on-one conversation during a lunch out.
  • Offering an experiential reward (e.g., checking something on their bucket list).


Sending recognition messages to employees and colleagues should be part of the company's culture. It's your opportunity to be more than a boss, HR expert, or team member. You can be warm and appreciative, send all your best, and create a pleasant and happy work environment.

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