How to Write a Thank You Letter to a Colleague

Updated April 17, 2017

Your colleague has sent you a gift for a special occasion. Alternatively, he may have worked overtime hours, delivered an outstanding presentation, arranged for a referral or assisted with a professional project. Respond to the favour, good work, gift or courtesy with a thank you note or letter. Let your colleague know that you appreciate his thoughtfulness and enjoy working alongside him. Whenever possible, write and send the letter as quickly as possible.

Send a handwritten thank you note if you have good penmanship and want to add a personal touch. Use a blue or black pen and high-quality stationery or plain note cards. If you are pressed for time, use a printed thank you note with a brief, handwritten comment and signature. Use a business-letter format if you wish to thank a colleague for outstanding work performance; send a copy to his supervisor.

Adopt an informal tone and use your colleague's first name in the salutation and throughout the body of the letter. State that you are thankful and provide the specifics. For example: "I appreciate the time you spent on the presentation for the new product release. I am impressed with your excellent research skills and computer expertise. Many of our clients have commented on the quality of our multimedia presentations since you joined the company."

Mention any gifts that you received. For example: "My husband and I are grateful for the donation you made on behalf of my mother-in-law. Thank you for all your sympathy and support during these past few difficult weeks." Or: "It was a special treat to receive theatre tickets for Friday's performance. It has been a while since my wife and I attended a live theatre performance. We look forward to a very pleasant evening in the city."

Use an appropriate closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Kindest regards" and sign your name.

Ask a senior colleague or mentor for advice regarding the most appropriate delivery method for your thank you note. In some workplaces, a casual approach is favoured. You could hand the note to your colleague or leave it on his desk. Alternatively, you could use the company's internal mail delivery system. If you are thanking a colleague and his partner for a bridal, anniversary or sympathy gift, send the note to his home.

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About the Author

In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio opened a wordsmith business. She has been published in the "Guelph Daily Mercury," "Waterloo Record" and "Winnipeg Free Press". A retired school teacher, Guidoccio has a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics and psychology from Laurentian University, a Bachelor of education from the University of Western Ontario and a Career Development Practitioner Diploma from Conestoga College.