Formal Employee Thank You Letter Sample

Two co-workers shaking hands with one holding a document
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Here is a sample thank you letter that an employer can write to an employee to recognize the employee's good work. This is a more formal example of an employee thank you letter sample.

Formal thank you letters serve formal occasions that require recognition beyond a pat on the back or a simple thank you. For example, the company president may want to send a recognition letter to Mark for setting a company sales record.

The sales director may also want to follow up the president's letter with a formal thank you letter of his own for making such a powerful contribution to the company's success. 

The Human Resources director may want to recognize the department that turned in all open enrollment plans three days early and required no HR follow up. The marketing director can use a formal thank you letter to thank the team that earned awards in industry rated media campaigns.

Keep in mind that a thank you letter is also appropriate for coworkers, employees in different departments, managers, supervisors, and executives, as well as from the employee's boss. No one will ever feel unhappy when a thank you note or a recognition letter is received. 


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How to Formally Recognize an Employee or a Team

Thank you letters and other employee recognition methods are well-received when they are presented effectively to the employee or team. The best formal recognition is:

  • Timely to the event or contribution for which you are recognizing the employee or team.
  • As specific as possible about why you are recognizing the employee or team. In addition to wanting the employee or team to feel rewarded and recognized, you are also communicating the actions or behaviors that you'd like to see more of from them.
  • Randomly presented so that employees don't begin to feel as if every time they make a contribution, a formal thank you letter will be forthcoming from the manager. You want the employee recognition to make the employee feel good about her contribution. You don't want the letter to become an entitlement.
  • Well-written on formal stationery. Employees treasure these letters and they keep them forever framed on their wall, pinned to their cubicle tack board, or in their memory file. The letter needs to look and feel like a big deal—because it is to the employee or team.

Frequent thank you letters are an excellent addition to a leader's work toolkit. Here's a sample that you can use as a guide when you write your own employee thank you letters.

Formal Thank You Letter Example (Text Version)

Dear Mary,

Today's presentation went very well and was well received by the department managers; I was also pleased to see that the team accomplished its key goals. I want to personally thank you for informally assisting your project team to stay on track and on target to meet their goals for this most significant contribution to our profitability this year

Without your willingness to step up and, despite some pushback from team members, persist in keeping the team on track, the project would certainly have strayed off course. That would have been bad for our customers and business results this year.

Specifically, your scheduling of meetings with a specific purpose, your use of an agenda with time allotments, your meeting minutes distributed within 24 hours, and your excellent meeting facilitation really helped the team make progress. They, with your leadership, accomplished the desired outcome—a 5 percent increase in the profitability of the product.
On the creative side, taking the team on field trips to see what several non-competing companies had done on a similar project appears to have been a key success factor, too. They brought useful new knowledge into the company.

Again, thank you. The project was well worth your time and investment and, on behalf of the entire management team, I want you to know that we really appreciate your efforts.
You will also receive a bonus of $5,000.00 to thank you for your contribution. You'll receive it in your next paycheck.

Alison Welner
Vice President of Product Management