Everyone likes to feel appreciated—even the boss. So, when your manager does something particularly helpful or meaningful, take the time to say thank you with a letter of appreciation.
It's a nice, polite thing to do, and most likely, your boss will appreciate the gesture. It may even increase the chances that they’ll go above and beyond for you in the future.
The best part is that you don’t need to write a lengthy letter to express your thanks. Even a quick email message works well to let your manager know that their support is appreciated.
When to Thank Your Boss
Here are some situations where a thank you message is appropriate:
Lends a hand: If your manager offers you resources or helps solve a problem (e.g., hires a part-time staffer to help on a project, secures a new piece of technology, or even participates in a joint brainstorming session).
Does a personal favor: Maybe your boss allows you extra leave time or is understanding with days off, even though you're taking them during a busy season. Perhaps your boss connects you with someone in your field who can help further your career, or takes some time to provide you with personal mentorship or advice.
Provides an opportunity for advancement: It's not only a raise or promotion that deserves appreciation; your boss sets you up for those measures of success by funneling important projects and initiatives in your direction. Without that trust in your abilities, it's harder to show off your talents.
Coordinates a collection for you or a family member: It isn’t unusual for good bosses to “pass the hat” for contributions when an employee experiences either a happy personal event (such as the birth of a child, a wedding, or a graduation) or a sad transition (like the death of a family member). When this happens, it is more than appropriate to send a thank-you note to your boss, along with a request that he or she pass your thanks on to all of those who contributed.
Announces that they are leaving either your division or the company: If your boss announces that they are leaving your division (through promotion or reassignment) or is leaving your employer (because of retirement, a new job, or a layoff), this is a wonderful time to write a sincere note that expresses your gratitude for the things they have done for you.
Remember to wish them success in their new endeavors.
When you’re moving on: Similarly, you may want to send your boss a letter of appreciation when you leave the department, or when you leave the company entirely.
Tips for Writing an Appreciation Note
- Be sincere. When you are writing to your boss to express gratitude and appreciation, you have to be careful with your tone. You want to make sure you appear sincere—and not like a sycophant.
- Be specific. In your letter, mention why you're writing and provide a specific thank you. For example, "Thank you so much for organizing my baby shower and for your generous gift," or "I'm so appreciative of this end-of-year bonus."
- Be brief. There's no need to write a lengthy note—keep your message short and to the point. The most important thing is to express your appreciation. Include a complimentary close at the end of your letter, before your name. Proofread carefully.
Appreciation Letter and Email Samples
You can send your note as a handwritten card, printed-out letter, or an email. Review sample appreciation letters and emails to use as inspiration when you write your own thank-you letter for your boss.
Formal Thank-You Letter Example
Sample Formal Thank-You Letter to Boss
100 South Street, Ste. 10
Middleburg, NY 10706
March 18, 2021
100 South Street, Ste. 10
Middleburg, NY 10706
I really appreciate your understanding and support regarding the changes we're making to the project plan.
I feel that these changes are going to streamline the current project, and facilitate the organization of those in the future.
Thank you for your confidence in me. I'm sure you're going to be pleased with the results.
Signature (hard copy letter)
Sample Email Appreciation Message to Boss #1
Subject Line: Thank You
I just wanted to drop you a note to thank you for the opportunity you gave me to attend the professional development workshop in Orlando last week — and also for securing my travel and expense funding for this trip.
The workshop sessions were both informative and inspirational, and I’m looking forward to sharing the things I learned with our team. I feel confident that the processes I was introduced to will really improve our efficiency and increase our workgroup’s ownership of our projects.
Thank you for your confidence in me.
Sample Appreciation Email Messages
Sample Email Appreciation Message to Boss #2
Subject: Thank you – Lisa Chan
Thank you so much for the promotion and the opportunity to spearhead the new project. I appreciate your trust in me and your offering me the responsibility; it’s an honor.
The new project will be an exciting endeavor for my team. We’ll keep you informed of our progress, and I’m confident you’re going to like the end results.
Sample Email Appreciation to Boss #3
Subject: Thank you!
Thank you so much for the generous gift for my new son, Oliver. My husband and I were so delighted to receive the adorable outfits and toys, and I was so touched by the card. Please pass along my appreciation to the whole product team.
See attached for a photo of Oliver in one of the new outfits. Thank you again for this generous, thoughtful present. I'm enjoying my time home with my new child, but also looking forward to returning to the office and thanking everyone in person.
How to Show Your Appreciation to Your Boss
TAKE THE TIME TO SAY THANK YOU: Everyone likes to know they are appreciated.
PUT IT IN WRITING: A thank-you email or note can have more of an impact than a conversation, because you took the time to write.
USE A SAMPLE TO GET STARTED: Use an example as a starting point for your message, tailoring it to fit your circumstances.