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We all strive to do our best in our offices. Whether we expect to get an incentive for it or not does not matter much. But when your employer awards you with a recognition letter for your hard work, you would definitely feel pleasantly surprised. Knowing that your boss realizes and recognizes your efforts motivates you to work even harder. Therefore, an employee recognition letter may seem simple but it’s a very effective tool the employers can use to inspire their employees and show their appreciation.

What is a recognition letter?

A recognition letter is a document which an employer awards to his employees who have performed beyond expectation. The main purpose of this letter is to show the employee that you appreciate his all the effort and hard work he puts into achieving his goals at work. For instance, there are letters of recognition examples you can give to employees to express your gratitude after they’ve successfully completed a project.

Composing and awarding the recognition letter is an essential part in the process of employee recognition. Sending this letter can help build stronger relationships and healthy culture in your company. Showing your employees that you recognize what they do will make them feel better about themselves and motivate them further to maintain their enthusiasm.

What should you prepare before writing a recognition letter?

Before you start writing the employee recognition letter, try brainstorming on some topics that you’d like to address. You may also look at letter of recognition examples to have a better idea of what to write and how to format the letter. Here are some questions you may ask yourself if you’re planning to write such a letter:

  • What achievements or projects immediately standout when you try to recall what your employees have done?
  • What qualities or skills do your employees possess which they apply to their work?
  • What’s it like to work alongside this particular employee every day?

Also, it would be very useful to review the status and performance records of your employees along with the length of time they’ve worked for the company. With all of this in mind, you’re now ready to craft your letter.

Downloadable Templates:

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Types of recognition letters

The next thing to think about is the type of recognition letter to use. The type to choose would depend on the purpose of the letter, the message you’d like to convey, the position of the employee you’re awarding the letter to, and more. Here are the most common types you can choose from:

  • Informal letters
    Informal letters recognize the specific contributions of an employee. Awarding this letter would go a long way in helping your employees feel rewarded and recognized. With this letter, you don’t have to use a formal tone or format. Employees would appreciate the letter even more if you enclose it with some gift such as a bonus check. In some cases, just the letter would make the employee feel happy and appreciated.
  • Semi-formal letters
    Semi-formal letter has a more formal composition than the informal type. You can give this to employees with higher positions such as officers or managers. Like with the first type, accompanying the letter with a simple gift would make it much more meaningful.
  • Formal letters
    This type has a formal style and content. Present the employee recognition letter to managers and other employees with high positions in the company. No matter how high an employee’s position is, he would appreciate such a letter. Receiving this would make him realize that he’s doing a great job of managing his department or his subordinates. Of course, the gift that comes with the formal letter would have a higher value.
  • Thank you letters
    Thank you letters can also be very effective in showing appreciation to your employees. If you’re at the “top of the food chain” at work, you may not know exactly how your other employees feel. Fortunately, a simple letter wherein you express your gratitude and appreciation will have a powerful effect on the motivation of your employees.

How to write an employee recognition letter?

All companies and organizations have an employee recognition process. A simple gesture like giving an employee recognition letter would give a huge and lasting impact on the positivity and productiveness of the workplace. There’s no better tool you as an employer can use to make your employees feel good about themselves, the company, and all of the goals you’re trying to achieve.

A letter of recognition given to an employee will encourage them and keep them motivated. Pretty soon, you’ll notice that your employees work harder than ever since they know that you see and appreciate all of the efforts they put into their tasks.

From letters to gifts, and bonuses, employee recognition will boost the morale of your employees and, in turn, your company. The best part is, tokens of gratitude such as letters and simple gifts won’t cost you much.

Even if you can’t afford to give gifts to your employees as part of the recognition process, you can always make a letter of recognition example for them. Adopt the habit of awarding recognition letters to your employees on a regular basis and whenever you see that your one of your workers deserve it. Some employees appreciate these letters so much that they would even display them in their office spaces for a long time.

The letter you make doesn’t have to be complex or elaborate. But you do need to cover specific things to get the results you’d like the letter to achieve. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • Use specific details when describing the employee’s behavior that you would like to encourage.
  • Express your gratitude to the employee for the work he has done or for his contribution to the success of your goals.
  • Make sure to compose the letter and award it to the employee a short time after he performed the task or exhibited the behavior.
  • You can print the letter out, write it by hand on a cardstock or email it to your employee.
  • Personalize the letter for the employee and for the achievement instead of sending a template that’s the same for everyone.

Other ways to recognize employees

Apart from sending a recognition letter, there are different ways to show your appreciation, gratitude or recognition to your employees. Of course, an employee recognition letter is the easiest, simplest, and cheapest way to go. From the employee with the lowest position to the one holding the highest position, this letter would be ideal. However, if you’re thinking of other ways to recognize your employees, you may try:

  • Give some shout-outs
    When employees know that they’ve done a good job, they would feel good about themselves. But if you have a “shout-out” in the office meaning that you announce their achievements to for everyone at work to hear, this would make an even bigger impact on how the employees feel about their efforts.
  • Offer them fun opportunities for personal or professional development
    There are different projects or activities you can award to your employees to give them a break from work. Before announcing these activities, make sure to tell the employees that you’re doing this in recognition of their contribution to the workplace or for the work they’ve done which helped you achieve your company goals.
  • Take your employees out to lunch
    Who won’t appreciate a free lunch from his boss? This would be an excellent reward if you’ve worked with a team of employees and you’ve successfully completed your project. Having lunch together would give you time to unwind with them and talk about things other than work.
  • Give your employees simple gifts
    If you’re thinking of giving simple gifts to your employees, don’t worry about spending too much. If you want to recognize them for their efforts, give your employees small gifts such as gift vouchers, movie tickets, and other simple presents which they would surely appreciate.
  • Throw a party or host a fun competition at work
    Showing appreciation doesn’t necessarily mean that you only focus on a single person. You can also recognize your entire team by throwing a party or a fun competition at work. Take some time off from all the stresses of work and have fun with all of your employees. If you don’t have the budget for a party, you can ask your employees to bring food for a potluck party. In terms of the competition, unleash your creativity and think of competitive games for all of your employees to enjoy themselves.
  • Encourage recognition between employees
    Employees would appreciate recognition coming from their supervisor, manager or one of the company’s executives. But they would also appreciate the recognition if it came from their peers. Another way to show your recognition is by getting everyone involved in the recognition process. Provide your team with enough encouragement and opportunity to recognize each other. Do this by asking everyone to sign a recognition card or by asking the employees to nominate their peers as the employee of the week or the month.


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