Employee Engagement Employee Retention Employee Recognition

9 Sample Employee Recognition Letters for Different Occasions (With Templates)

What do you say to coworkers when you want to recognize them?

Employee recognition is vital, but how you express it can be even more important. A rushed, one-line message that simply says ‘thanks for working late last week’ or ‘good work on this project’ can fall a bit flat. 

On the other hand, a well-thought out message will leave them in no doubt about how much you appreciate them, and can even highlight the value of their contributions in ways they hadn’t been aware of before.

Of course, finding the right words doesn’t come naturally to everyone. We hear from a lot of customers who want to create meaningful messages to accompany their rewards and nominations, but find themselves staring at a blank screen.

In this situation, having a basic template to get started from can be very handy. With that in mind, we’ve created 9 employee recognition letter example templates, each designed to fit different occasions. The templates are universal, and leave plenty of room for you to personalize your messages to specific employees.

Best of all, you can download them and keep them on file for the next time you need to recognize someone!

 

Recognition Letters Are Better with Rewards

Before we dive in, it’s important to note that it’s always a good idea to combine your recognition messages with some kind of tangible reward. Even just a small token of appreciation can add weight to your words, and make an employee feel like their contribution is more valuable.

Each of the templates below is designed to accompany a Guusto gift card, as the variety of merchants we offer makes it a suitable reward for any occasion, but you can easily amend the letters for any reward you choose to offer.

 

1. Recognition Letters for Work Anniversaries 

Work anniversaries are a crucial milestone and it’s important that they are acknowledged by your company. Whether an employee is 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years in the job, their anniversaries are a time when they appreciate being recognized for their hard work and loyalty.

And while a gift will definitely go down well, a well-worded appreciation letter to the employee from their manager – or even the CEO – may mean even more to them. This template can be adapted for any work anniversary, and leaves room to mention the employee’s specific contributions and achievements. 

 

Template

Dear {Employee Name},

On behalf of everyone at {Company Name}, I just wanted to congratulate you on your {work anniversary}!

During your time with us, you’ve become an integral part of the team, and you should be very proud of everything that you have accomplished. For instance, your work on {a specific project the employee played an important role in} was superb, and really underlined just how invaluable you are to us.

As we move forward, I’m excited to see what else we can accomplish together. We have a lot of exciting opportunities in the pipeline, like {an upcoming project the employee will be involved in}, and I’m glad to have your experience as we take on these new challenges.

This Guusto gift card is just a small token of our appreciation, and I hope you’ll use it to treat yourself to something that you’ll really enjoy.

Here’s to many more years together!

{Your Name}

 

Message Example

Dear Diana,

On behalf of everyone at Smith & Brady Finance, I just wanted to congratulate you on your 5-year work anniversary!

During your time with us, you’ve become an integral part of the team, and you should be very proud of everything that you have accomplished. For instance, your work ironing out the finer details of the Carter & Klein deal was superb, and really underlined just how invaluable you are to us.

As we move forward, I’m excited to see what else we can accomplish together. We have a lot of exciting opportunities in the pipeline, like the Ewing account project, and I’m glad to have your experience as we take on these new challenges.

This Guusto gift card is just a small token of our appreciation, and I hope you’ll use it to treat yourself to something that you’ll really enjoy.

Here’s to many more years together!

Rachel

Download Template

 

2. Recognizing an Employee Moving into a New Role

For any employee, moving into a new position can involve a mixture of excitement and apprehension. 

Whether they’ve been promoted or are just transitioning into a different role, your employee will be looking forward to taking on a new challenge and growing as a professional. But they might also be a bit daunted by the prospect of taking on new responsibilities and leaving their comfort zone.

A well-timed employee recognition letter can be a great way to let them know that you're behind them, and that you believe they will be a success.

 

Template

Dear {Employee Name},

Congratulations on your new position!

We’re thrilled that you’ve decided to continue to grow with us as {new position}, and we’re excited to see you bring your skills to the role. 

I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all the work you did as {old position}

Your performance in the role was exceptional, and your work in {a specific project the employee played an important role in} really helped us achieve our goals. If you can bring the same standards to {new position}, you’re sure to be a success.

I hope you’ll use this gift card to celebrate! Maybe {suggest a particular merchant that offers something you think might interest the employee}? You deserve to treat yourself.

All the best,

{Your Name} 

 

Message Example

Dear Richard,

Congratulations on your new position!

We’re thrilled that you’ve decided to continue to grow with us as Head of Business Development, and we’re excited to see you bring your skills to the role. 

I also wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for all the work you did as Sales Manager

Your performance in the role was exceptional, and your work in securing clients during the challenging COVID period really helped us achieve our goals. If you can bring the same standards to the Business Development team, you’re sure to be a success.

I hope you’ll use this gift card to celebrate! Maybe you and Sharon could go for a nice dinner at Omaha Steaks? You deserve to treat yourself.

All the best,

Paul

Download Template

 

3. Thanking People for Organizing Events and Activities

Where would you be without your company’s social committee? As many HR professionals know, employees who help organize events and initiatives at work are a godsend. They help to lighten the load of your department, and play a huge role in building a positive workplace culture.

With that in mind, it’s important that they know that you appreciate the effort that they make, especially since they often have to take time away from their own work to do it. This employee recognition letter example will work for people who organize social events, charitable activities, or anything else. 

 

Template

 Dear {Employee Name},

I just wanted to thank you for all the work you did to organize {event or initiative}. 

It was a huge success, and I know everyone on the team really appreciated it. I particularly liked { a specific aspect of the event or initiative}

We’re incredibly lucky to have someone like you at the company who goes above and beyond to help put these things together, especially since I know how busy you are. You help make us the team we are, and I hope you understand how important that is. 

I hope you enjoy this gift as a token of our appreciation. You’ve earned it.

All the best,

{Your Name} 

 

Message Example

Dear Emilia,

I just wanted to thank you for all the work you did to organize our recent Team Day. 

It was a huge success, and I know everyone on the team really appreciated it. I particularly liked the trivia game you put together. 

We’re incredibly lucky to have someone like you at the company who goes above and beyond to help put these things together, especially since I know how busy you are. You help make us the team we are, and I hope you understand how important that is. 

I hope you enjoy this gift as a token of our appreciation. You’ve earned it.

All the best,

Sam

Download Template

 

4. Holiday and Year-End Recognition Letters

Between holiday gifting, parties, and annual awards, the end of the year is an especially important time for recognition. 

During this period, employees will look back on all they’ve accomplished during the year, and letting them know that you appreciate the hard work and effort they have put in can be vital. 

This sample employee recognition letter was taken straight from our 2021 Employee Holiday Gifting Playbook, and is easy to personalize to individual employees:

 

Template

Dear {Employee Name},

On behalf of everyone at {Company Name}, I just wanted to give you this small token of our appreciation for all of your hard work this year. Your efforts in {a specific project the employee played an important role in} really helped us achieve our goals. Thank you!

We hope you’ll enjoy this gift card, which you can redeem from any merchant on Guusto’s list. Maybe you could {suggest a particular merchant that offers something you think might interest the employee}?

Wishing {employee’s partner or other family members} and you a Happy Holidays, and all the best for the year to come!

{Your Name} 

 

Message Example

Dear Jim,

On behalf of everyone at Dunder Mifflin, I just wanted to give you this small token of our appreciation for all of your hard work this year. Your efforts in driving the Sales team during Q4 really helped us achieve our goals. Thank you!

We hope you’ll enjoy this gift card, which you can redeem from any merchant on Guusto’s list. Maybe you could treat the whole family to a meal at Applebee’s?

Wishing Pam, the kids, and you a Happy Holidays, and all the best for the year to come!

Michael 

Download Template

 

Running Out of Time for Holiday and Year-End Recognition?

Don’t panic! You can still put together a holiday program to remember for your team. Check out our 2021 Employee Holiday Gifting Playbook for simple ideas that you can put into action today:


Get the Playbook

5. Celebrating the Big Wins

Just completed an important project? Landed a big client? Finally reached a longstanding goal?

When your company gets a big win, it’s important to take some time to celebrate it before you move on to the next challenge. And a big part of that is letting everyone who played a part in it know how much it means to the company. Sending a thank you letter to employees for their hard work will make them feel like all their efforts have been worthwhile.

This template can be easily tailored to any big achievement your company wants to celebrate, and personalized to acknowledge the specific role individual team members played in it:

 

Template

Dear {Employee Name},

I wanted to take some time to thank you personally for your role in {big win}.

We couldn’t have done it without you! Your {the employee’s specific contribution} was crucial and {outline the impact that it had}.

Moving forward, we expect {big win} to open up even more opportunities for us to grow, and I’m extremely glad that you’ll be there with us as we do.

To celebrate, treat yourself to something with this Guusto gift card. Maybe {suggest a particular merchant that offers something you think might interest the employee}? You deserve something special!

All the best,

{Your Name} 

 

Message Example

Dear Julia,

I wanted to take some time to thank you personally for your role in helping us land the urban rejuvenation contract.

We couldn’t have done it without you! Your work putting together our presentation was crucial and helped us stand out against the competition.

Moving forward, we expect this contract to open up even more opportunities for us to grow, and I’m extremely glad that you’ll be there with us as we do.

To celebrate, treat yourself to something with this Guusto gift card. Maybe book a weekend getaway through Hotels.com? You deserve something special!

All the best,

Javier

Download Template

 

6. Thanking Colleagues for Collaboration

When you’re celebrating wins, your employees may also want to take the opportunity to acknowledge the help they received from their teammates. 

This letter of recognition example is specifically designed for peer-to-peer appreciation. The template can be used by anyone to thank a teammate for working with them on a project, helping to foster a sense of team spirit in your organization.

 

Template

Dear {Employee Name},

Thanks so much for collaborating with me on {project or task}!

You were a pleasure to work with, and I was really grateful to have your expertise in {specific skills the employee brought to the task}. It really helped { the impact the employee’s contribution had}.

Here’s a small token of my appreciation. I hope to collaborate with you more in the future.

All the best,

{Your Name} 

 

Message Example

 Dear Tina,

Thanks so much for collaborating with me on the urban rejuvenation project presentation!

You were a pleasure to work with, and I was really grateful to have your design expertise. It really helped make the presentation more striking and impactful.

Here’s a small token of my appreciation. I hope to collaborate with you more in the future.

All the best,

Julia

 

Download Template

7. An Employee Recognition Letter for When Times are Tough

Of course, recognition isn’t just about celebrating the good times. When things get tough, it’s often even more important to make sure your employees feel acknowledged and valued.

If an employee has had a professional setback, is dealing with personal issues, or struggling for any other reason, reaching out to them could make a world of difference. Companies with strong cultures strive to create safe environments where employees can be their authentic selves at work, and a big part of that is not being afraid to be open when things aren’t going well. 

This sample employee recognition letter will give you an opportunity to foster that kind of culture by acknowledging that things are hard for them and offering your support. In doing so, you can help them find the confidence they need to power through. 

 

Template

Dear {Employee Name},

I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate the work you’ve been putting in recently.

I know that you’ve been having a hard time because of {challenge employee is facing}, and I understand how difficult it must be for you right now. But I’ve been impressed with the effort and commitment you’ve shown in spite of everything.

I hope you’ll enjoy this small gift as a token of our support, and treat yourself to something you’ll really enjoy. You deserve it.

I also want you to know that my door is always open, and you can always come to me if you’re feeling overwhelmed. We’ll continue to try and support you in whatever way we can.

All the best,

{Your Name} 

 

Message Example

Dear Brandon,

I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how much I appreciate the work you’ve been putting in recently.

I know that you’ve been having a hard time because of the staffing issues your department has faced during the pandemic, and I understand how difficult it must be for you right now. But I’ve been impressed with the effort and commitment you’ve shown in spite of everything.

I hope you’ll enjoy this small gift as a token of our support, and treat yourself to something you’ll really enjoy. You deserve it.

I also want you to know that my door is always open, and you can always come to me if you’re feeling overwhelmed. We’ll continue to try and support you in whatever way we can.

All the best,

Charlotte

Download Template

 

8. Recognizing a New Hire

Onboarding is arguably the most crucial period of an employee’s time at your company. 

Those first weeks and months can be the difference between success and failure, dictating how long the employee ultimately stays with you, and the level of engagement and enthusiasm they bring to their work.

With that in mind, it’s important to show them recognition early to set the tone for your relationship. 

Sending them a letter of recognition after their first day or week, or once they complete their first big task or project, could be crucial to getting their time with you off to a great start.

 

Template

Dear {Employee Name},

I just wanted to thank you for all the work you’ve done so far!

You’ve really hit the ground running, and I was especially impressed with how you handled {a task or project the employee handled well}

I know everyone is really excited to have you on the team, and I’m looking forward to seeing you grow and develop in the role in the coming months.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy this gift card, which you can redeem from any merchant on Guusto’s list.

All the best,

{Your Name} 

 

Message Example

Dear Sonia,

I just wanted to thank you for all the work you’ve done so far!

You’ve really hit the ground running, and I was especially impressed with how you handled customer queries during your first shift. 

I know everyone is really excited to have you on the team, and I’m looking forward to seeing you grow and develop in the role in the coming months.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy this gift card, which you can redeem from any merchant on Guusto’s list.

All the best,

Peter

Download Template

 

 

9. Thanking Departing Employees for Their Work

First impressions matter, but the final impression you have on an employee can be just as important. 

When somebody leaves your company, particularly if they’ve been there a long time, they deserve a good send-off. You should make sure they know just how much you appreciate everything they’ve done during their time with you, how much they will be missed, and that you wish them all the best for the future.

Sending a personalized appreciation letter to the employee is a perfect way to accomplish this, and will help maintain the goodwill between them and your organization. They will remain and advocate for your company and its brand, and may even welcome opportunities for further work or collaboration in the future.

Here’s a template you can use for departing employees:

 

Template

Dear {Employee Name},

On behalf of everyone at {Company Name}, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for everything that you have done during your time here, and wish you every success in this next exciting chapter of your career.

You should be incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved during your time here. In particular, your work {a specific project the employee played an important role in}, as well as {another specific project the employee played an important role in} has been absolutely vital to our success.

I hope that you’ll keep in touch, and always feel welcome to collaborate with us again in the future. In the meantime, here’s a small token of our appreciation. 

Good luck in your new role at {name of employee’s new company}. I’ve no doubt that you’ll make yourself indispensable in no time!

All the best,

{Your Name} 

 

Message Example

Dear Riley,

On behalf of everyone at Fuller’s, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for everything that you have done during your time here, and wish you every success in this next exciting chapter of your career.

You should be incredibly proud of what you’ve achieved during your time here. In particular, your work in helping us expand our client base in Europe, as well as training the management team in our European branch, has been absolutely vital to our success.

I hope that you’ll keep in touch, and always feel welcome to collaborate with us again in the future. In the meantime, here’s a small token of our appreciation. 

Good luck in your new role at Trinity Systems. I’ve no doubt that you’ll make yourself indispensable in no time!

All the best,

Tanya

Download Template

 

Each of these sample employee recognition letters will serve as good basic templates to get you started, but you can always add more to make them your own. You could delve further into the impact your employee’s actions had, highlight other things they deserve recognition for, or anything else that might make it more personal and impactful.

With just a little work, you’ll have a message that will really resonate with your teammate!

 

Want to Make Your Employee Recognition Letter Really Special? Make it Public!

If you want to do something extra special to recognize an employee, why not share their accomplishments with the world? Culture Stars is a new website from Guusto that provides a space for HR leaders to recognize their most valued people publicly. 

When you submit, you’ll be sent a $25 Guusto gift card to give to the employee, and they’ll also have the chance to win a $500 grand prize in Q1 of 2022. You can submit a story here:

Submit Your Story

Conor Moloney

Written by Conor Moloney

Conor is a Content Marketing Specialist at Guusto. He loves creating articles and other resources to help HR leaders build better cultures within their companies.

Leave a Reply