How To Write A Thank You Note To A Colleague (With Examples)

By Amanda Covaleski - Nov. 9, 2020
Articles In Life At Work Guide

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As the saying goes, “no man is an island.” That’s becoming increasingly true as companies move toward more collaboration and trusting teams to get the job done.

It’s almost impossible to do your job without your colleagues, whether that’s because they give a last-minute hand and edit a presentation for you, or work alongside you to get a big project in by the deadline. With increased collaboration and teamwork in the workplace, it’s important to show your colleagues your appreciation.

A great way to say thank you to anyone you work with is with a professional appreciation letter or email. Just acknowledging how someone helped you and that you appreciate their work is a nice gesture to turn into a habit.

Let’s take a look at some appreciation letter etiquette and a few examples of how to write one. Follow our guide, and you’ll be the colleague everyone is eager to work with.

Why Send A Thank You Note?

Sometimes it’s impossible to get all of your work done without your colleagues’ help, and it’s essential to recognize that. If someone helps you out, it’s good practice to thank them for their assistance. Even if you verbally thank your co-worker for their help or send a quick email, you should still follow up with a more formal appreciation letter.

Imagine if you helped a co-worker cross the finish line on a big project. Wouldn’t you like to receive a bit of recognition and a thank you for your work?

You don’t have to write a big, fancy, handwritten letter. You can keep it short and sweet as long as you express your gratitude for their help.

It doesn’t take much time to write an appreciative note, so it’s a good idea to get into the practice of sending them. Your colleagues will appreciate that you noticed their work, and they’ll look at you positively. It’s a good step in improving your workplace relationships and getting to know your colleagues. Plus, your teammates might be more willing to help you out in the future.

Who to Thank and When to Say Thank You

There are a few different situations when it would be a good idea to send out an appreciation letter or letters. If you work with someone one-on-one to complete a project, you should probably just send a quick appreciation note to that person.

If you’re working on a team, you can send out a group letter or email to thank everyone for their help in reaching your goal. You can include specific call-outs here, like thanking your team leader for their guidance. You could also just note that you appreciate everyone going above and beyond to meet your deadline, or whatever you’re thanking them for.

When you’re a new employee, you should definitely be sending out thank you letters. If someone takes the time to train you on new software or mentor you in your first weeks at the company, you should send an appreciation letter. Writing thank-you notes for them will show that you learned from them and appreciate their time and mentorship. It’ll also make them thankful that the company hired a thoughtful new employee.

As for sending your appreciation letter, you can either send an email or leave a nice handwritten note for your recipient. Emails are faster, so you should make sure you send an email to them within 24 to 48 hours of receiving their help. Since letters take a little more time to draft, you could deliver an appreciation letter to your co-worker within a week of working with them.

When deciding between a letter and an email, think about the amount of work your colleague did for you and how big of a gesture you want to make. Emails can be the no-fuss way to quickly thank a colleague for light assistance, or you could make the email longer to thank someone’s hours of hard work. A quick handwritten thank you note is a little more serious, and you can use it to show your appreciation for someone’s indispensable help.

Tips for Saying Thank You

While there’s no single way to write an appreciation letter at work, there are a few tips you should follow to stay professional. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you work on your thank you letter.

  • Pick a suitable format. It’s up to you to decide how you want to thank a colleague, but remember you have a few options. Both email and a written letter can be great ways to thank someone, depending on the situation.

  • Call the recipient out. Make sure you identify who you’re writing to so that the recipient knows it’s a thank-you for their work. Whether you’re writing a letter or an email, remember to address the person you’re thanking instead of just sending a message with no heading.

  • Tell them what you’re thankful for. Sometimes you can get so caught up in writing an appreciation letter that you forget to mention what you’re thankful for. Just add a sentence or two about what you’re thanking your co-worker for to make your appreciation more clear.

  • Compliment their talents. It’s a good idea to mention how your colleague’s specific talents helped you complete your project. If they helped you edit a report, you could specifically note that their expert editing skills helped you wow your boss.

  • Mention any feedback. Sometimes the projects you collaborate with your teammates on get reviewed by supervisors or management. If you get any positive feedback from their review that involves your friend’s work, definitely mention it in your letter.

  • Look forward to the future. If you enjoyed working with your colleague, you could mention that you’re excited to work together again in the future. It will clarify that you appreciated their work and are willing to work with them again in the future.

  • Offer your help. Collaboration isn’t a one-way street, and you should offer your help to your co-worker in your appreciation letter. It’s a way to pay them back for their support, and it creates an opportunity to work with them again.

  • Make it personal. Don’t be afraid to include personal details or mention specifics about your relationship. Go ahead and say you’re happy you finally had the chance to work with this person if you’ve never worked with them before.

  • Use a handwritten signature. If you can, include your handwritten signature instead of just an email sign off or your name. It will make the letter more personal, which is precisely what you want for an appreciation note.

Sample Appreciation Letters

Now that you know the basics, let’s take a look at some examples of appreciation letters. We’ve drafted templates for written letters and email notes so you can see both in use.

Remember that your note should include four sections. First, address your co-worker and put their name in the heading of your letter. Next, you should mention why you’re writing to them and what you’re thankful for. Then, elaborate on what they did that helped you or impressed you. Feel free to bring in specific and personal details here. Finally, you should say how their help impacted your team or the broader company and thank them again. You can sign off with your signature after this section.

Appreciation letter 1

Dear Sam,

Thank you for all of your help in completing the annual budget report. I would’ve never gotten it done without your support, and I’m so grateful for all that you did.

Your spreadsheet skills were impressive, and I appreciate you taking the time to help me figure out the data processing and your willingness to teach me along the way. The supervisor board was very pleased with the data analysis and particularly liked the pie chart that you made.

I really appreciate your help with this project, and I look forward to working with you again in the future. If you ever need a helping hand, I’m here whenever you need me.

With gratitude,
Jane (signature)

Appreciation letter 2

Dear Christie,

I would like to formally thank you for your help and support as we restructured our department over the past month. We couldn’t have done it without your expertise and valuable opinions.

I’ve never seen someone handle so many moving parts so easily and keep organized. You made the process extremely smooth, and I know it would’ve taken so much longer without your help. I especially appreciate your communication with the weekly updates and your collaboration with everyone in the department to make sure they understood the changes. Our department head, Deborah, even noted your ability to smooth this transition for us.

Thank you again for your hard work. If you ever need anything from me, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Kind regards,

Appreciation email 1

Hi all,

I’d like to thank you all for your work on our most recent marketing campaign. It truly took all of you to bring it to fruition, and I’m already impressed by the results that we’re seeing. Without all of your late nights, early mornings, and dedication, we would’ve never gotten this campaign off the ground.

I appreciate everyone’s work, and I have let our directors know how amazing everyone was on this project. I speak for myself and them when I say huge thanks to the whole team.

I’d also like to recognize Susan for her great creative thinking in solving the data tracking problem, as well as Bill for his beautiful content creation. Our campaign wouldn’t be successful without the effort they put in, and of course, the support you all gave them in bringing their ideas to life.

Thank you for your hard work, and I look forward to working with this team again soon.


Appreciation email 2

Dear James,

Thank you for all of your contributions to our new blog launch. Both my supervisor and I greatly appreciate your creative thinking and expert writing skills.

You had some wonderful ideas for content, and I really appreciate how you acted on them immediately with pitches and outlines. Your motivation is truly impressive.

If I can ever help you, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d be more than happy to lend a helping hand whenever you need it. Thank you again for your hard work.

Best regards,

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Amanda Covaleski

Amanda is a writer with experience in various industries, including travel, real estate, and career advice. After taking on internships and entry-level jobs, she is familiar with the job search process and landing that crucial first job. Included in her experience is work at an employer/intern matching startup where she marketed an intern database to employers and supported college interns looking for work experience.

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