August 9, 2022
Your employees don’t want to know they’re appreciated. They want to hear it, see it, and read it in the most authentic way possible – which is where the humble employee recognition letter comes into play.
The employee recognition letter is the cooler cousin of the ‘thank you’ note, telling employees how much you appreciate them and their work. And no, it’s not just a Hallmark card or a piece of paper with a signature lasered at the bottom. We’re talking about a real letter written by real people, with the intention of making an impact!
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with writing your first employee recognition letter, you’re definitely not alone. But regardless of your business size or current experience, you might be surprised how simple it can be. And if you base some of your ideas on preexisting examples, the job will be even simpler!
But first, some context.
We’ve said ‘recognition’ like four times so far, but we haven’t given much of a foundation for it. Frankly, it’s easier to understand what recognition is by telling you what it isn’t first.
Recognizing your employees is NOT:
In contrast, recognizing employees effectively IS:
The employee recognition letter, then, should be used to satisfy all three aspects of recognition. Not only should it be specific and tangible, but it should be relatively public as well.
Employee recognition letters can work wonders in the workplace, encouraging long-term loyalty, fostering stronger bonds, and boosting your ever desirable employee engagement.
But don’t just take our word for it; listen to what science has to say!
Thanked employees are loyal employees. What’s more, they feel totally empowered to do their best on the job.
A win-win scenario? You bet your bottom dollar!
You can choose to recognize employees for just about any purpose, from their cat-themed ties to their potluck organizing skills. These are all fine and well, but we’re going to focus on situations that primarily focus on work outcomes: starting with the most common.
Everyone (eventually) has a work anniversary. So why not celebrate with a letter?
Anniversary recognition letters should be sweet, simple, and incredibly authentic. Just check out this example:
Happy work anniversary from me and the team! You’re such a huge part of our customer’s brand experience, and I just wanted to take a minute to say thanks.
Your work ethic is inspiring, and it pushes me to do my best every day. I'm specifically referring to your productivity score from a few months ago. Wow! If I could work as fast as you, I'd be over the moon.
In either case, thanks so much for being such a valuable part of the team. Now take this cash and get yourself something nice!
Notice the tangible elements of this letter, especially the specific example and the cash reward. While the voice and tone of your letters will probably look different, it’s the structure that really counts.
Having fun with generosity? Absolutely!
Make your employee gifting feel splashy and fun, with a balance of levity and sincerity to let them know you care.
Consider this example:
You. Are. Awesome. And I want you to know it!
The report you gave at our stakeholder meeting last week was just unbelievable. Seriously, I can tell you really put some thought into the way you imaged the data.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Take everyone else’s!
[NOTES FROM PEERS]
Here’s $25 from ThanksMatters to you. You’ve more than earned it!
The inclusion of peer notes make this note even more special. Employees will be more likely to keep or even display the note (and who doesn’t want that?). Plus 88% of people say that expressing gratitude to their coworkers makes them feel happier. It’s a good chance to spread the love!
Sometimes, you just need to congratulate your employees for being incredible. It might be for very punctual attendance, amazing productivity scores, or any other metrics you use to identify work ethic.
Here’s a great example of this:
Let me start by saying how much of an asset you are for the team. I saw that your cold call numbers were twice as high as everyone else’s combined. If that’s not something to celebrate, I don’t know what is.
From the bottom of my heart, thank YOU for having such an impressive work ethic. You are the gold standard of what we look for on this team, and you make my job look easy.
Again, highlighting a specific event is important for gaining maximum letter impact. Try tying your accolades to a company value as well, similarly to how it’s written above.
From birthdays to work hours, your employees are bound to hit milestones every once in a while.
Make them feel extra special with a recognition letter that looks something like this:
Who just made their first $1,000,000 sale for the company? YOU!
What a big win for everyone. You more than deserve it! I’ve been watching you grow so much over the past year and a half, and seeing you hit the goal so effortlessly is downright inspiring.
This is just the first of many; I can feel it in my bones! But for now, I want to celebrate how hard you’ve worked and how far you’ve come.
Go get something special, Greg – on me!
The reward here is paired well with a specific instance of achievement. And the fun, laid back dialogue makes this letter really stand out!
The best recognition comes from the simplest notes.
Make it count with a letter that’s perfectly personalized:
I wanted to say thanks for taking the lead on that client meeting. They really seemed to love the new campaign; even when you left, they couldn’t stop talking about the graphics you presented!
I know we always say ‘innovative passion’ around here, but you really live it out. We’re so lucky to have you, and I’m confident you’re going places – and soon.
Again, thanks a million!
Short, sweet, and from the heart. What more could anyone want?
Recognition and letters are like peanut butter and marshmallows: you might not think to put them together at first, but you’ll be oh-so pleased when you do. Not only are recognition letters easy to write, but they better facilitate growth and development for everyone at your company.
At Motivosity, we’ve been building unique engagement pairings since day one. We’ve helped hundreds of clients and thousands of employees send letters that matter with recognition software that people actually want to use. Oh yeah – it only takes a few seconds to do.
Interested to see what Motivosity can do for your recognition letters? Sign up for a demo today. Go ahead – it’s free.