Writing an appreciation mail serves way more than the bare-eye purpose. In addition to showing acknowledgment, appreciation, or gratitude for those extra efforts, it also
- motivates the recipient into doing more.
- forges a forward-looking professional relationship between the recipient and you.
- conveys the message to others in your work sphere that their efforts would be valued.
However, your appreciation would mean nothing if you do not word it effectively. Hence the need for mastering the art of writing appreciation mails.
Some common scenarios where you should be writing words of appreciation.
- When a team member goes out of the way and contributes to the team.
- When someone takes up added responsibilities in times of dire need.
- When someone extends a hand to help a coworker finish a task assigned.
- When someone offers to fill in for you when you are not available.
- When someone writes a letter of recommendation for you.
- When the entire team does a job well.
- When a vendor or a client facilitates a smooth sailing of work.
Common categories of recipients– We are talking of people from your work sphere deserving of words of appreciation from you.
- Immediate boss
Structuring your mail and orienting it to your audience
1. Subject line– Your subject line should clearly convey the content of your mail. A simple ‘Thank you ‘ with a reference to work is all that you need!
– Thank you for your input on the Xyz report
– We appreciate your cooperation in the Abc transaction
– Thank you for reviewing the change request-Abc project
– Thank you for stepping in during the Xyz product demo
2. Salutation– Choose your salutation carefully basing it on the degree of formality you share with the recipient.
A client or a vendor calls for the salutation that is most formal of all, followed by your boss. Your peers and subordinates should be fine with the least formal salutation.
– A first name address works with your subordinates and peers.
– Most often than not, the modern concept of doing away with the power-distance allows you to address your boss by his first name.
– However, with vendor or client, it is advisable to bear in mind the trending work culture. If a vendor or a client on previous interactions has insisted on being addressed not so formally, you can go ahead and make your salutation a little less formal.
That said, you should still be mindful that they are your clients. Be appropriately respectful and professional in your tone. To play it safe, for the first interaction, go for a conservative salutation.
– Subordinate: Hi/Hello/Dear (first name)
– Peer: Hi/Hello/Dear (first name)
– Immediate boss: Dear (first name)
– Vendor/Client: Dear Mr./Ms. (last name)
*note – Mr./Ms. always goes with the last name and never with the first name.
– Team: Hi everyone/Dear everyone/Dear team
*note- Avoid ‘All’; instead use ‘everyone’
3. Opening phrases– Let the very first paragraph indicate your objective. Start your appreciation mail by saying thank you and a quick reference to the reason.
– Thank you for joining the team at a short notice.
– I appreciate your offer to pitch in for your sick colleague.
– Thank you for agreeing to stretch your work hours and avoid a deadline slip.
4. Elaboration – The next paragraph can now include specifics.
Some examples :
– We appreciate you recommending us to Xyz.
– You were a great help in putting together the survey data from Abc resources.
– Appreciate your flexibility to extend the submission deadline to Friday.
5. Closing– Now, this is no less important than the opening. Follow the closing sentence with a comma. Go a space down before you type your name.
Choosing the right phrase would again depend on the degree of formality. A ‘Dear Mr. Peterson’ will not go with a ‘See you later’ closing. Make sure that the tone is maintained till the end.
– Best regards,
– Sincere thanks,
– Thank you for your initiative,
– Greatly appreciate your support/assistance,
– Thank you once again,
Some handy tips
- Timely words- Sending appreciation way later loses its sheen. Make it a point to send those words of appreciation as soon as possible.
- To make your appreciation mails impactful, keep them short and to the point.
- Use a lot of active voice words. Say- ‘I appreciate your efforts.’ instead of ‘Your efforts are appreciated.’
- Avoid being effusive or going overboard.
- Proofread- and do that two more times! A misspelled name or incorrect grammar can be a big turnoff.
Armed with all this information, let us try out some sample appreciation mails to the likely recipients in your work circle.
1. To subordinate – Looping his team in the appreciation mail does wonders to the motivational levels of the employee.
Subject: Appreciate your extraordinary contribution – Xyz account
I am writing to let you know that not just the team but also the management has noticed the hard work you put in for the project.
I appreciate the time and effort you invested in the smooth completion of Xyz tasks. Not just that, you also ensured that the client was kept informed and satisfied during the entire flow of the development phase.
The team and the company recognize you as a valued member.
We truly appreciate your contribution.
2. To peer
Subject: Thank you for your input for the ABC presentation
Thank you for coming forward and helping me build the framework of my Xyz presentation.
I appreciate your inputs and am going forward with your suggestion on the graphical representation of compiled feedback data.
It is always helpful to have someone who has had experience working on a similar task.
3. To immediate boss
Subject: A note of thanks- Leadership development program
I sincerely thank you for the opportunity you gave me to be a part of the Leadership development workshop, at the headquarters yesterday.
The session for sure has given me an entirely new perspective on teams working on critical projects.
I look forward to sharing my learning with the team. I am confident that this knowledge will improve not just my, but the entire team’s efficiency and the outcome will please all involved.
Thank you once again for having trust in me.
4. To client/vendor
Subject: Thank you for your support- ABC project
Dear Mr. Rasheed,
Please accept my sincere thanks for your patience during the unforeseen glitch that our team encountered last week.
Your willingness to support us by extending the deadline was a huge deliverer.
My team and I truly appreciate your understanding during the critical testing stage of the project.
Look forward to continuing working with you.
5. To the team
Subject: ABC account- thanks for a smooth completion
Let me take this opportunity to thank all of you for your sincere efforts and extended work hours for a hitch-free completion of the project.
I am thrilled to have a team that is ready to go above and beyond and keep the name of the organization. It is team players like you who prove to be assets for the company.
Keep up the good work team.
Bonus – Received appreciation mails and confused on how to respond? Here are some great pointers on how to ‘Reply to appreciation mails’.