How to write a congratulatory email to work colleagues

When a professional connection or co-worker has won accolades for good work or has an achievement to celebrate, then share in their happiness by writing a congratulatory letter or email.

Taking time out to congratulate someone on winning an award from peers, a job promotion, or moving to a new job builds professional relationships.

Here we will give you a few pointers and samplers to write congratulatory notes for the various achievements mentioned above.

ways to write appraisal request email

Promotion: For most employees, promotions are hard-won and surely something to celebrate by friends and co-workers. Here’s how you can write a congratulatory note for your colleague for moving up the job ladder:

The first paragraph should start with the obvious message – Congratulations on your promotion as the team lead, manager, project manager, VP, etc. 

Mention how you came to know about the promotion. In a team meeting, or through a colleague or even on LinkedIn. Next, share your joy at this move up and how you always believed that s/he would move forward in his/her chosen profession.

The tone of the congratulations email is determined by your associations. If you are friends, you can be informal, but if they are colleagues or business associates, then be more professional.

Felicitations should be offered in a timely manner. If you send a letter two-three months later, then it loses its value. Also, keep the message short and sweet. You just need to convert that you are happy with their promotion and share in their success.

Congratulating a colleague on a job well done

This needs to be short and to the point. So come straight to the point of how happy you are with the way the project was handled under so much pressure. And the end result was praiseworthy in its research and conclusions and what benefits it would bring to the company.

This kind of note shows appreciation and assures the person that good work is noticed. In addition, it keeps employees engaged and motivated to do better.

Moving on: These letters recognize a milestone in the recipient’s life, be it relocating, accepting a position with a different employer, or retiring.

What to include and not

Remember to put Congratulations from (your name) in the subject line.

Come straight to the point of promotion, job well done, happy to hear you have moved on to a higher position in another company or are retiring.

Express wishes for a fruitful, gainful and happier journey in their new life or job. Again, keep it simple and short. If you are too effusive with your praise then it immediately rings a false note, and people start wondering why?

If a person moves to another job or city or gets promoted, do not ask for favors or opportunities for yourself. That request email is for a separate and later date.

Certainly, you are sending this message in part as a way to network with someone but focus only on congratulating the person, do not bring yourself into the picture. 

A sample letter for congratulating a colleague on a promotion

Subject: Congratulations from Tom

Dear Peter,

I was happy to hear of your promotion as marketing manager from Mr xxx. My heartfelt congratulations on this upward move.

I feel no better person is deserving of this promotion. You have performed well individually and as a part of the team in achieving all the task set to the marketing team. It is good that the management too appreciated your good work. 

I hope you continue to perform well in this new position and keep on moving up the ladder.

Once again, congratulations and all the best in your new role.

Yours sincerely,


Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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