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How to Write Messages of Appreciation at Work + Templates

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. Getting recognized at work isn't just motivating, it's galvanizing. It's almost as much as getting a high-five from your favorite celebrity! Appreciation at work sparks something special, and the benefits of recognition at work are huge.

As a manager, team leader, or peer, it's your job to spread that appreciation like the finest guacamole on Taco Tuesday in the workplace. And what better way to do it than with messages of appreciation?

But wait a minute! Writing these heartfelt thank-yous can be as tricky as choosing the perfect GIF to express your emotions. You don't want your words to sound as generic as a rom-com plot, but you also don't want to come across as insincere.

Don't fret! We've got your back with some tips and templates to help you craft appreciation messages that'll have your team feeling like they've hit the workplace jackpot.

To jump right to our templates, click here.

two sets of clapping hands

How Appreciation Messages Impact Your Employees

Messages of appreciation can have an incredibly positive impact on your team. They make your team feel like they're in a place where they belong, knowing that their work matters and that they're making a difference. Seriously, it's like a shot of espresso in their motivation veins.

I mean, we all want that recognition, right? Can you remember how you felt last time you were really recognized at work?

It's that feeling of accomplishment that comes from someone else noticing our contributions. So, when you give kudos to your team, aim to spread that feeling.

And here's the thing: A genuine, heartfelt message is like that perfectly wrapped present with a bow on top. It's not about you, it's all about them. The point is to show gratitude, not gain brownie points or a better parking spot. So, when you take the time to tell your employees you appreciate their hard work, you're saying, "Hey, I see you, and I value you." And trust me, that goes a long way.

How to Write a Great Appreciation Message

There are plenty of occasions when it's appropriate to write an appreciation note. It's like finding a surprise cupcake in your lunchbox!

You could fire one off to an employee who's been leading the way on a project or to someone who took an extra step to make a coworker's life easier. If they're making someone's day brighter, why not send them a little sunshine of their own?

And don't think you have to save the praise for the grand slams and epic wins. Celebrate small wins! You can sprinkle those appreciation messages around to create a culture of gratitude on your team, and you might just find that recognition to be contagious!

hand writing on paper

Now, here are some tips for writing impactful appreciation notes:

Write the message as soon as possible.

Try to send the letter quickly so that the event or action you're thanking your employee for is still fresh in your minds. While you shouldn't be so hasty that the note is poorly written, make the message a priority. This also shows that you're truly appreciative of their work and that you're excited to express your gratitude.

Explain what you're grateful for.

Be specific when expressing your appreciation. If your message sounds generic, your credibility will go out the window. For example, instead of simply saying, "Great work today," explain what they did well and why you appreciate it.

Pair recognition with rewards.

When people feel valued, their happiness, engagement, and loyalty increase. It's similar to discovering that perfect dish at a beloved eatery – it's simply irresistible! Consider connecting recognition with incentives, since you'll encourage employees to consistently strive for excellence. Pairing rewards with acknowledgment promotes positive actions and serves as an inspiration for others.

Personalize messages to your entire team.

You may want to send a note to your whole team thanking them for their work. Great intention, but make sure any message to a large number of teammates is thoughtful. Take the time to personalize messages by addressing your employees by name and highlighting their unique contributions.

Think SBI.

You can also look at employee recognition through the "SBI" model created by CCL. In a nutshell, that's where we'll first establish the situation, then describe the behavior that happened, and then describe the positive impact.

SBI model from the Center for Creative Leadership

Proofread before sending.

Take your time when writing and reviewing your message. Even if it's a short and casual note, you still want the message to be well written. A misspelled name or typo (yikes!) can make the message look careless.

Templates for Appreciation Messages

If you're not sure where to start when writing an appreciation message, try adapting one of these templates:

Message of Congratulations on an Accomplishment

Hey [teammate],

Remember when you were working on [project or task]? Your hard work and dedication really paid off! The way you tackled the project was impressive, and it had such a positive impact on our team and the company. [example of impact]

We're all grateful for your commitment, and I'm excited to see what you'll do next.

Keep up the great work!


[Your name]

Message of Appreciation for Work Ethic

Hi [teammate],

I've been watching how you put your all into [project or task]. Your outstanding work ethic has made a real difference for [company name] by [impact of work], and we're so glad to have you on our team.

You've set a great example for the team!


[Your name]

two people building a small shed

Message of Appreciation for Teamwork

Dear [teammate],

I noticed how you stepped up during [project] and helped your teammates by [behavior].

Your leadership and communication skills made a huge difference, and we couldn't have done it without you. [example of impact from work]

I'm looking forward to seeing what other great things you'll accomplish with your future projects!

Thanks again,

[Your name]

Message of Congratulations on Work Anniversary

Dear [teammate],

Congratulations on your [x] years at [company name]! I'm so grateful for all of your hard work over the years. [example of work or past project together]

Your skills and talents have taken us to a new level, and I'm looking forward to what the future holds.

Thanks for all that you do!

[Your name]

Team Launches a Product

Hey [teammate],

You and your team did an amazing job launching [product name]! The way you all collaborated and managed the project from start to finish was truly impressive.

Because of your work, [impact of work], and your teamwork has made a significant impact on the company's growth. Well done!

Keep it up!


[Your name]

Individual Helping a Coworker

Hi [teammate],

I saw how you helped [coworker's name] with [task or issue] the other day. Your willingness to step in and offer assistance showcased your collaborative spirit and teamwork. Thanks to you, [coworker's name] was able to [impact], and it made a real difference in our work environment. You rock!

Thank you for being such a supportive team player!

Best regards,

[Your name]

Someone Going the Extra Mile

Hey [teammate],

I noticed that you went above and beyond on [project or task] by [specific action]. Your dedication and commitment to excellence made a significant impact on the project's outcome, and it didn't go unnoticed. The whole team appreciates your efforts, and we're lucky to have you on board.

Keep being awesome!


[Your name]

Parting words for Messages of Appreciation

Wherever you can, add details about the employee's successes, contributions, or talents to your messages. Appreciation notes should be as specific and personalized as possible. When you're penning those appreciation notes, go ahead and toss in those juicy details about your employees' wins, contributions, or that thing they do that's just pure magic. The more specific and personalized you can make those notes, the better – it's like finding your name on one of those souvenir keychains.

As companies grow, employee recognition and rewards tools can make these messages of appreciation even easier to write and share! They can lead to more engaged teams while also taking the stress out of remembering to spread that appreciation love. Check out our recommendations for more details.

Notes of appreciation are a simple but effective way to connect with your team and show gratitude. To boost engagement and satisfaction in your workplace, make it a habit to recognize your employees' strengths and successes. By applauding their hard work, you'll promote a positive, uplifting work environment that's not just positive but also productive.

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Derek Muller