Thank You Note For a Bonus, Merit Raise, or Workplace Award

thank you for the raise bonus award
Bonus Benefit Reward Incentive Money Graphic Concept

Should You Write Your Boss a Thank-You Note for Your Salary Raise?

Congratulations on your new promotion, superstar! I’ve got answers to all your burning questions about handwritten thank-you notes you may or may not (but probably will) want to send.

Must you always write a thank-you note? Yes! Well, no, actually; it isn’t that simple.

If your work bonus is the result of an expected, annual raise, you may safely forego the note of appreciation, especially if the raise is automatically applied as part of a collective agreement or you work in a large organization where there is a standardized process for administering salary increases.

If, however, your bonus is recognition of your (and your team’s) hard work and is unexpected positive feedback, then writing a thank-you note for that bonus or wage increase is appropriate. 

As much as you deserved that raise, proper acknowledgement of your bonus or job promotion can further your career, too.

Writing a thank you note doesn’t have to be complicated. Treat others well and they will reciprocate. 

Without further ado, check out these templates of thank you notes for your bonus or raise at work:

Template for a Thank-You Letter for a Workplace Bonus

While you’re basking in the glow of the validation that comes with a shiny new title or role or moolah, take a moment to consider how you got there, who might’ve helped you along the way, and how you can acknowledge that support. Then write it out.

Here is as generic a thank-you note template as it gets:

Dear [boss], 
Thank you for the raise. Second sentence. Third Sentence. 
Sincerely, [you]

If you’d like something more substantial to model your note after, here are several fleshed-out examples:

Dear [boss], It’s been a pleasure to learn and grow under your leadership. Thanks again for recognizing my contribution with this promotion. I look forward to continuing to work together.

To My Amazing Boss —

I want to express my appreciation to you for generous bonus at the end of the year. The company’s outstanding growth record and non-pc culture makes me very proud to be a part of the team, and to me the bonus represents your well-placed confidence in my abilities and my future with the company.

I do realize not all organizations value their managers’ personal dedication to the extent that Schuster Inc. does. Therefore, I feel quite pleased to work for executives who put real incentives behind the lip service some organizations give to celebrating their employees as their most valuable asset.

My work here is extremely rewarding. Thank you.


[your name]

Business Thank You for Merit Raise

SUBJECT: Merit Raise 

I’d like to thank you for the merit-based raise effective June 1. I take this as an indication that you and upper management appreciate my efforts and are optimistic about my future here. To the best of my abilities, I intend to be worthy of that confidence and will do everything in my power to meet and then exceed the objectives outlined in my 20 SMART Activity Plan submitted last week.

Please know I am eager to lead additional projects that develop in this area, and will incorporate them into the daily work flow in this office. Thanks again for your personal support and encouragement, and for your inspiring example of effective leadership.

Thank-You for a Business Award or Commendation

Thank you very much for selecting me to receive the Newman Award at our December meeting. This is one of the most memorable events of my professional career. To be recognized by you, my peers — high performance experts in your own successful companies — is a highlight I will remember over and over with gratitude.

I appreciate all that each of you has contributed to my professional growth and outcomes. Many of you have served as my role models during the difficult times since we began our company. In fact, your corporate advice has been very much responsible for the successes we’ve had along the way.

I sincerely thank you.


[your name]

Why To Handwrite Your Thank-You Note to Your Boss 

One of the easiest ways to sincerely thank your boss is with a handwritten thank-you note. Yes, email is easier and faster, but your handwritten appreciation note will be noted, and remembered.

People like to put their notes on display. Think about it. You rarely (if ever) print an email thank-you and display it on your desk, but I bet you have seen or placed many handwritten cards on display.

Hand deliver your note first thing or if you have a scheduled private meeting with them. If your boss is working in another location, simply mail your thank-you note the old fashioned way.

Considerations When Thanking Your Boss For a Raise

  • Do not mention the money or percentage amount. Do not include the amount of your raise in your thank-you note. Perhaps not everyone on your team or in your company were rewarded equally, which makes sense, since individuals perform at varying levels. 
  • Be smart and consider that privacy doesn’t exist. Be careful of what you say as you don’t know who else will see the note. Even if you decide to send an email, someone else could still have access.
  • Your boss doesn’t need to know your personal life details. Your boss does not need to know how you are spending your money. Spare the details.
  • Be level-headed. If you are feeling bitter about the amount you received, it is prudent to wait a few days before writing the note that could burn some bridges you might need later.
  • Be positive and kind but not insufferable. Include a compliment to the team or the boss, if they deserve it. But don’t suck up to the boss!
  • Send a plain card design if you don’t know what your boss likes. Do not procrastinate on writing your thank-you note because you can’t decide on what kind of card to send.
  • Close to the holidays? Mention the holiday, too.

If the logistics allow, and they usually do, consider giving a handwritten note. It shows your boss that you took the time to walk outside, go to a store, pick out a card, buy the card, write something thoughtful, and give it to them. Or maybe you just ordered it online; whatever — the point still stands that you at least put some effort into thanking them. That action of handwriting a card shows a genuine sincerity and thoughtfulness behind it. And while the gesture may be small, in today’s age, anybody would appreciate it. 

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I like to climb mountains, read Nietzsche, and explore the West Coast. I have a BA from York University and yet on this site I sometimes spell like an American (know your audience). Thank you. Thank you very much.

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