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Writing a Letter of Appreciation

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 12/29/2009

Writing a letter of appreciation for an employee is an easy task, especially if you are pleased with the employee's efforts. Letters of acknowledgement and appreciation are tools that can be used by HR and supervisors when reviewing employee's files or for the employee to keep as their own.

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    What Is a Letter of Appreciation?

    Actual Business Letters by Epiclectic A letter of recognition or appreciation to an employee is simply stating that you’re acknowledging a job well done. These types of letters can be given to employees after the completion of a large project or consistent effort on their part that you feel goes above and beyond the call of duty.

    Letters of appreciation can also be given to employees who have experienced a tough go and still shined. This type of letter shows great support of your employee.

    Lastly, a letter of recognition goes a long way in assuring the employee they have a stable work environment, will remain happy with their job, and by receiving one, you have a better chance of continued excellence and employee motivation.

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    How to Write an Employee Letter of Recommendation

    When writing a letter of appreciation, follow these tips:

    • Company Letterhead – Even though we are in the days of email technology, it’s still better to write a formal letter on company letterhead. Emails or faxes may be nice, but nothing beats a real letter that is signed by a superior.
    • Date – Put the date first, prominently at the top of the page and to the left.
    • Name and Title – Put in the full name of the employee who will be receiving the letter. It’s also a good idea to include their job title, if applicable.
    • Address – Call your human resources department and get the employee’s full home address. This will make the letter look more professional.
    • Salutation – After you insert the address, skip down two spaces and type “Dear Tom," or “Dear Mr. Smith." You can also use the entire full name of the person if you wish.
    • Body of Letter – Here is where you compliment the employee on a job well done. Be specific on why you are giving the letter of appreciation. If it is project specific, say so. To help you with choices on how to prepare the body of your appreciation letter, download and print sample letter of appreciation templates in our Media Gallery.
    • Signature – You should end the letter with, “Very truly yours." Next, skip down at least three spaces and type your name and title. The three spaces will give you room to sign the letter.
    • Copy HR – Under your typed name, skip down two spaces and cc your human resources department or type “cc: Employee File." This way the employee will know the letter will go into their record of employment with your company.
    • Make Copies – Make enough copies so you have one for your reference, and one for the HR department. Give the employee the original, not a copy.
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    Other Tips to Consider

    Here are some other tips to help you when writing an employee a letter of recognition:

    • If your company offers employee recognition days, keep a copy of the letter for that day and read it to the staff. This will make the employee feel special and help turn up work enthusiasm and effort.
    • If you have a break room or common area where employees converge each day, place a copy of the letter on a bulletin board in that area. Nothing shouts employee pride more than for others to know they’ve been recognized.
    • Don’t just mail the letter or place in on the employee’s desk or inbox. Call the employee to your office and hand them the letter. Explain why you feel they deserved the letter for that extra touch.

    Writing an employee letter of appreciation is beneficial to both you and the employee. You can pretty much guarantee the employee will continue to strive to their best potential, which benefits you, and the employee will find the work environment desirable, which benefits the employee.