How to Write Thank You Letters to Your Employees (with Examples)

Showing appreciation to your employees should be part of your company policy. It creates a healthy work environment that makes people feel acknowledged, engaged, and motivated. It also gives you the chance to get to know your workforce at a more personal level, understand its perspectives, and improve their loyalty towards the company.

Thank you letters are the perfect tokens of appreciation. You can use them in various situations such as an employee leaving the company, excellent performance and endurance during a stressful period, at work anniversaries, for attending a special event, or at the end of the year. Most of the time, they're emails, especially when you want to thank many people. However, you can send a handwritten letter to an employee for a special occasion (e.g., the work anniversary of your oldest employee).

Writing a thank-you email can be tricky. It must be personal and professional simultaneously, customized for receiver and occasion, and, most of all, meaningful. Especially when you send a thank you email during challenging times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, you want the employees to know you care about them. Here is everything you should know about writing a thank you letter and a wide range of templates to get you started.

Summary

  • What to include in a thank-you email?
  • Tips for writing professional appreciation letters
  • Best examples of thank you letters


What to include in a thank-you email?

A thank you email should be straightforward, concise, and evocative. Begin the letter formally with an opening that includes the employee's name. You can use their first name for a more friendly approach or their title and surname for a more professional approach. You should always consider your relationship with the employees and the way you're usually addressing them. The thank-you email is a way of consolidating your relations and should be honest and open.

State the purpose of your writing from the beginning. Take some time to praise the employee's work, leadership, endurance, or dedication. Include specific details to show employees your interest and make them feel acknowledged. If you write the letter in your name, use the first person and give them your honest opinion. If you write the letter in the company's name, restate the company's goals and recognize the help of your employees in achieving them.

Before ending the letter, let employees know your hopes for the future and the following steps. Thank them again for their help and use a friendly closing.


Tips for writing professional appreciation letters

There are a few details that can completely change the impression your letter makes. For example, sending a thank you letter with typos and errors can ruin the message. Also, sending a thank you template letter without bothering to personalize it may be an offense rather than praise. Check out the following tips before sending a thank you letter, and make sure you send the right message.

1. Get to know the recipients – In some cultures, it may be more appropriate to send a handwritten thank you letter instead of an email. In others, it may be traditional to express your appreciation at specific holidays. When you don't know the employees personally, you should do some research before writing the letter.

2. Use a professional tone – Even when you know the employee very well, maintain a professional tone, avoid jokes, and don't get into personal details. Good work relations involve boundaries.

3. Use the right fonts and colors – A thank you letter should be easy to read and understand. If your handwriting isn't legible, use a computer. Choose neutral fonts and colors. If your company has employees from different countries, use the standard communication language or translate the message in all the languages spoken within the company.

4. Find the most appropriate opening – Make sure you use the correct title, name, or position for opening your letter. Use the first name only if you know the employees well and you know for sure they won't mind.

5. Don't be vague – Include details that will show employees your sincere interest and dedication. Remember, you don't want to write a spam message. You want to convey a meaningful and truthful message.

6. Use precise language – Avoid metaphors and flowery language. You want to send a clear message that will be understood the same way by all recipients. Don't be too poetic or dramatic, and stick to the subject.

7. Less is more – Instead of sending a long letter with no meaning, send a short meaningful one. Don't exaggerate the employee's merits or promise rewards that don't exist. Restate the company's goals and hope for the future but don't make the letter either about you or the company.

8. Promote equity – For the same occasion, you should send the same message of appreciation to all employees. Even if you know some of them better, the thank you letter should have the same tone and content for all of them.


Best examples of thank you letters

Based on the occasion, we've created a few different thank you email examples. Choose the one that fits your company and personalize it as you wish. Remember that it's essential to add a personal touch to the appreciation letters you send. It will help you create better work relations and motivate people.

Sample 1: Thank you email to an employee leaving the company

Dear [Employee Name],

I appreciate all your efforts in the years that you've worked for [Company Name]. You were a great addition to [team], and we're sorry to see you leave.

Throughout your time with us, you have stood out as an employee with a strong work ethic and personal integrity. I admire your technical and social skills, high-quality standards, and creativity. In particular, I would like to thank you for your work on [project]. Employees like you make my work all the more rewarding and enjoyable.

Best of luck,

[Your name]


Sample 2: Appreciation letter for excellent performance

Dear [Employee Name],

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your excellent performance in the [project name]. Your hard work and professionalism have impressed the entire team immensely. I admired your diligence and self-motivation that have been a source of inspiration for the rest of the team.

Thank you once again for all your effort.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]


Sample 3: Thank you email for hard work

Dear [all/Employee Name/team],

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your hard work in the [project name/last year/period]. It only goes to show how dedicated you are in wanting to achieve the best for the company. We couldn't have done it without your help.

Thank you once again for all your effort.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]


Sample 4: Appreciation email to employees during difficult times

Dear [all/ team],

We would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your hard work in this challenging period. It only goes to show how dedicated you are in wanting to achieve the best for the company. We couldn't have done it without your help.

We've all been affected by this difficult time [details]. We couldn't appreciate more your capacity and willingness to go the extra mile and make it work despite the harsh conditions. While that is not part of your job description, sometimes you took the time out of office hours and helped out without being asked. Other times you gathered new skills and came with innovative solutions. You went well above and beyond our expectations.

Thank you once again for all your effort.

Best wishes,

[The management team]


Sample 5: Congratulation email to employees attending a special event

Dear [Anna/Mrs. Smith/IT Team], 

We would like to congratulate you for being accepted at [Event Name]. It's a great privilege for our company to be present there. We are impressed with your hard work, dedication, and commitment, and we're proud to have you on our team. Your contribution is extremely valuable to us.

On behalf of the team at [Project Name], we congratulate you once again. 

Best regards, 

The [Project Name] Management Team


Sample 6: Thank you email about volunteering

Dear [Anna/Mrs. Smith/IT Team], 

We would like to thank you for volunteering and stepping in for the project [Project Name] when it was needed the most. We were impressed with your hard work, dedication, and commitment. Your contribution was extremely valuable to us, and we reckon we couldn't have finished in time without your help. We look forward to working with you soon.

On behalf of the team at [Project Name], thank you once again. 

Best regards, 

The [Project Name] Management Team


Sample 7: Thank you email from CEO to the employees for the end of the year

Dear [all], 

As we have come close to the end of [year], I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done to make this a successful year for all of us. I appreciate your dedication, hard work, and innovative ideas. Despite all the challenges, we upheld focus and excelled in our very competitive environment.

This year, we have made impressive progress in [company's goals]. Statistics show that we've done better than expected [details]. There is still plenty of achievable lined up for the next year, such as [details], and I am sure that we will keep up with our quality standards.

Have a wonderful holiday! 

Yours sincerely,

[Full Name – CEO of Company]


Sample 8: Employee Appreciation Letter for General Anniversary / Service Anniversary

Dear [Anna/Mrs. Smith], 

We want to personally congratulate you on reaching your [Xth anniversary] with [company name].  Your loyalty and hard work to our company and our customers does not go unnoticed and is highly appreciated.

Your talent helps us achieve excellence every day. We hope that you take this token of appreciation as our sincere gratitude for making our company what it is today.

Thank you for your continuous effort. We look forward to continuing this journey together and reach more of your service milestones.

Sincerely, 

[Full Name – CEO of Company]


Note: Appreciation letters are closely linked with employee retention and tenure of the employee. By focusing on recognizing the work of your people, you strengthen the company culture making a more enduring one. 


Sample 9: Employee Appreciation Message for Birthday


Dear [Anna/Mrs. Smith], 

We are really impressed with your working attitude. You are a valuable worker, that works hard and you always deliver! We, the [Sales/Marketing/Admin] team at [Company name] sincerely hope you know that your ongoing efforts do not go amiss. 

Happy birthday to you! We wish you many personal and professional accomplishments, as well as a bright day at the office, filled with joy and laughter. 

Looking forward to seeing you [in the cafeteria at lunchtime/in the meeting room at 4:00 PM] – we have prepared a small gathering in honor of your birthday. 

All the best, 

[Your name] 


Sample 10: Employee Congratulations Message for Marriage


Dear [Employee name],

I am writing this letter to express my happiness about the news of your marriage. Sincere congratulations to both of you. It was a great feeling to receive the information about your wedding, both of you are an adorable couple. Accept my best wishes and blessings on behalf of my family to you and your wife.

This milestone marks a new chapter of your life. I feel enthusiastic for you as you found your soulmate in your future wife.

You have been an exceptional, loyal and disciplined employee for our company, and I hope you reflect the same in your marital life—all the very best for a great future. I know you will be ready to fulfill your duties as a loving, caring, and responsible husband—lots of love to the both of you.

Yours faithfully

(Department manager)


Sample 11: Employee Congratulations Message for New Baby


Dear [Employee name],

We recently heard about the arrival of a new member of your family. We are happy to hear that, and on behalf of the company, please accept my best wishes and good luck in this new phase of your family life.

Also, as you are on leave, if you wish to extend it, you can talk with the HR manager and follow the necessary procedure for the leave extension. We once again congratulate your family, and may God bless his blessings on the newborn and your family. 

Enjoy every moment with your new baby,

With regards,

[Team coordinator]

Tools like Facebook help you remember your close friends' birthdays, however, what do you do when it comes to your employees - the people that you work with? Solutions like LeaveBoard help you have at any moment in time the information regarding when the next birthday is coming, the age of your employees, and other similar information such as service length. With such employee data, you have the tools not to miss a birthday again within your workforce.  These special days bridge the professional and personal aspects and give a more human touch to your relationship.


FAQs:

Why is it important to send a thank you letter to an employee?

A professional appreciation letter shows employees you've noticed their work. It increases motivation and loyalty towards the company. People feel acknowledged and recognized and become more responsible. A thank you letter well-written boosts morale and encourage employees to go the extra mile and engage more.


When should I send a thank you letter to employees?

Send thank-you letters whenever you want to acknowledge the performance of an employee or group of employees. The most common occasions are after a challenging period or during difficult times (e.g., the COVID-19 pandemic), work anniversaries, when an employee leaves the company (e.g., after an internship or volunteer work), and participates in important work events.

Note: if you are looking to be aware of the employees' work anniversaries or service length, then our Employee Management Solution has the right HR analytics that provides the right data for all your employees. 


What are the reasons to say thank you to employees?

You may want to thank an employee after finishing a demanding job or stepping in to cover the absence of a colleague. You may also want to appreciate excellence and high performance, loyalty towards the company, special merits, and innovative ideas. Finally, a tip to boost morale, in some companies a best practice is custom to send a thank you letter to all employees at the end of the year.

Tip: If you're looking to boost the productivity within your business, and remove manual tasks, consider an automated absence tracking system.


Where can I find more HR templates?

If you want easy HR solutions, check out LeaveBoard. It's a cloud-based HR system that provides automatic HR processes, simplifies employee management, facilitates HR reporting, and boosts efficiency for team managers and HR leaders. Companies in more than 50 countries use the cloud-based software daily to track absences and manage leave. Because it integrates with collaborative tools and popular calendar apps, LeaveBoard improves communication and increases work satisfaction.


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