When you have an employee that has done a great job under your management – maybe they went above and beyond, or maybe they always work to their best ability and never fail to finish the job– it's nice to let them know that you appreciate what they've done with a letter of appreciation. Not all employers remember to show their appreciation to their employees, so why not become one that does?

Showing Employee Appreciation

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People don't write letters as much these days as they once did. It's something of past generations that could really do a lot of good in this current day and age. Showing gratitude to employees increases their dedication to the job – when they see you appreciate and notice their job well done, they do even better and keep up the good work.

Employees that feel like they aren't getting noticed may slack off. By not being appreciative you risk losing good employees to more than just slacking – they may move on to jobs where they will get the appreciation they deserve for the job they do. It breeds dedication and loyalty.

What Is a Job Well Done?

stressed guy at work
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If you're used to employees that don't go above and beyond and do as little as possible, you might not even notice when one of your workers has done something amazing. Here are some things they might have done that that would warrant a letter of appreciation –

  • Made a major sale
  • Worked overtime when they didn't need to
  • Came up with a new idea that increased business
  • Saved the company from losing a disgruntled client
  • Saved the business extra money
  • Helped sign a major deal
  • Did more than their job requires

Pretty much anything an employee does that could be considered above and beyond what their job requirements are should be commended. Instead of just giving bonuses or putting their face on a temporary “Employee of the Month” sign, give them something lasting that they can continue to appreciate for as long as they hold onto it – write them an actual letter of appreciation.

How to Write a Letter of Appreciation

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It's not that difficult to write a letter of appreciation to an employee, but there are some things you want to make sure your letter includes. You want to put the beginning of the letter in the third person, but finish it off on a more personal tone. This gives them something they can use when it is time for them to move on to a new job, or they can at least use it to help them move up into a new position – it's almost as useful as a letter of recommendation.

The format of the letter matters, as does the content you put in it. Once you've created the letter, don't just give the only copy to the employee – it's a good idea to include a copy in their employee file.

Here are the steps to writing a letter of appreciation to an employee that has gone above and beyond and deserves appreciation for a job well done.

1. The Introduction

You want this letter to read like you're writing it to someone else, not directly to the employee. It should start with their name and what their job is, followed by who you are to them and how long you've been working with them.

Here's an example of the introduction:

I would like to applaud sales manager John Doe for the remarkable work he did in increasing sales this past month. I have been John’s direct supervisor at Glass Goat Publishing for the past two years, and I’m honored to say that he has grown into an exemplary employee.

2. What They Did

The next part of the letter should tell the reader what it is this employee did that made them deserving of commendation. While the introduction was only a paragraph long, this part of the letter can be a couple of paragraphs that detail why this person deserves a letter of appreciation – be detailed so that anyone reading the letter will understand why this person is a stand-up employee.

Remember – this is a letter that will go into the employee's permanent file, so you want it to be something that can notify future readers of the accomplishment of the employee. Simply saying they did a “good job” is not enough.

Here's an example:

John has been a loyal and productive employee for his entire duration here at Glass Goat Publishing. Recently John implemented a new online marketing strategy that has already increased our sales by 15% in the first month. His plan is one that will be used indefinitely, so the possibilities of further increase in sales are high.

On top of that, John has set the new sales channel up so that it records the contact information of the people shopping with us so that we can reach out to them directly for follow-ups – including sending them special incentives to shop with us again.

3. Summarize the Letter

Before you write your conclusion to the letter, you want to include one more paragraph of information – this time about why you are so impressed by this particular employee. Why do they deserve this recognition, and what made you decide to give it to them by taking the time for this letter of appreciation?

Here's a summary example:

John deserves to be commended for the work he has done increasing our book sales. The company was slowly seeing a decrease in sales leading up to the marketing strategy he created, and now that decrease is in the past. John took the initiative to begin this project on his own and was not compensated extra for the added effort he put in.

4. Closing/Thank You

When you write a letter of appreciation to your employee, you'll write it directly to them. However, there are times when you could be writing this letter to someone that did some work for you, who works with a different company and is not employed directly by you. In this case, you may want to send the letter to the company they work for, as opposed to the worker themselves (you would just tweak a few things when it comes to the point-of-view in which the letter is written).

Here is a sample closing for a letter of appreciation to your employee –

I, and Glass Goat Publishing, would personally like to thank you for your exemplary work with Glass Goat Publishing and the way you went above and beyond to increase our sales. Your skills at online marketing have proven to be a true asset to this company.

How to Motivate Employees to Go Above and Beyond

If you don't feel like any of your employees are going above and beyond, it could be your fault. Are you motivating them to put their all into the job? Are you fostering creative and critical thinking

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There are many things your company should be doing that will help to motivate your employees to do an excellent job and be more dedicated. Here are a few of them:

  • Give them a sense of belonging – if they feel like a true part of the company, they will put more into the work they do.
  • Give them a purpose – an employee who feels like they have a reason to be on the job doing their thing is more likely to get the work done promptly and well.
  • Give them a positive environment to work in – it's a fact that happy employees do better work and are more likely to think creatively.
  • Give them a sense of achievement – when you emphasize the good work employees do, they are more likely to keep it up.
  • Give them some excitement – if you host potluck lunches, have work parties, and do other things that foster excitement in the workplace, people will be more productive because they feel appreciated and part of a work family.

Other Ways You Can Show Employee Appreciation

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Sometimes an old-fashioned letter of appreciation will stand out far more than any other form – letting your employee know that they are appreciated enough that you took the time to pen an actual letter directed toward them and their upstanding performance. However, there are other ways to show appreciation, including personalized gifts, a bonus, or even a dinner party in their honor. The more appreciation you show for a job well done, the better the work environment.

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