6 Tips to Write an Effective Recognition Letter

July 15, 2018

In Employee Engagement

how to write an employee recognition letter message

To promote the performance and engagement of your employees, recognize the behaviors you wish to reinforce.

A recognition letter is a powerful, and an easy way to share your recognition and create a genuine feeling of pride in your employees. Some may even frame and showcase the memo on their desk to motivate themselves, especially during more challenging times!

Check out our 6 tips to write a better recognition memo.

1. Personalize your message

Avoid pre-made sentences or copy-pasting from other recognition memos. If your employees happen to share them with other colleagues and notice the odd resemblance… Your note will not be effective.

Your employees are all unique, they deserve to receive a message tailored to them individually.

2. Use the employee’s name when writing the letter

You should state your employee’s name in your message. Not only will this strategy help capture the attention of the reader but it also adds a personal touch to your message.

3. Be clear and precise

What has the employee done to deserve your praise? Be sure to clearly state which action or realization you value. Recognizing an employee will not have much of an impact if they don’t know what they are being recognized for. Put emphasis on the reasons why you believe the employee has demonstrated exemplary behavior.

4. Recognize recent achievements or actions

To produce the desired effects, recognition must be expressed shortly after the event judged to be exceptional. If you wait too long, the initiative will not be as powerful and your employee might not perceive your gesture as a sincere one. Your recognition letter must seem spontaneous in order to create a real sense of authenticity.

5. Use a positive and active vocabulary

Whenever possible, choose positive sentence structure over negation. For example, it’s preferable to say, “You showed perseverance”, rather than “You did not give up”. Make sure the reader of your text is the actor of the verb and not a passive character. Say “You realized X project in record time” and not “project X was realized in record time under your supervision”.

6. Say “Thank you”

This might seem obvious, but make sure to include the words “Thank you” somewhere in your message. After all, these two words mean everything and have a profound impact. Don’t underestimate them!

Example of a good recognition letter

Hello dear Julie,

I want to thank you for the quality of your work and for the professionalism you demonstrate on a daily basis. Last week, you once again surpassed yourself in delivering an exceptional presentation to our prospects.

Thanks to your enthusiasm for our products and your ability to synthesize critical information, I’m sure prospects felt well-informed and taken care of. Julie, we are really lucky to have you on our team.

Customer Service Director