Watching people succeed is a good feeling — especially when you’ve seen them putting in the hard work and effort.
That success could be finishing a tough project or closing a valuable deal, or it could be getting promoted to a new role. Your relationships with your coworkers form the core of your professional network. Strengthening these bonds through authentic gratitude and praise ensures your coworkers are there for you when it’s your turn for a new step.
Learning how to congratulate someone on a promotion is an essential communication skill. Promotions are an exciting step in someone’s career development, and supporting the people around you when it happens shows them you care and are invested in their well-being.
Show your teammates you’re excited about their well-deserved success. From emails to hand-written notes, here are some of the best ways to send your sincere congratulations to a coworker on their new position.
Why should you personally congratulate someone on a promotion?
Getting a promotion is the culmination of long hours and hard work. Acknowledging that success shows your colleagues that you’re a team player and a good coworker who recognizes their effort. Perceived organizational support also improves productivity, which helps create a better overall work environment.
Ultimately, offering sincere kudos and encouragement when your coworker succeeds helps you both. They feel acknowledged and supported, which can help them thrive in their new role.
And for you, it’s an opportunity to shine a light on your generosity and enthusiasm — valuable qualities that can help you stand out in the workplace.
Steps to send congratulations
There’s no set format for a congratulations letter. Write it as you would a regular message or email. But even though there aren’t strict parameters, there are some points you should include.
Whether you’re sending someone a “congratulations on your promotion” email, a message via LinkedIn, or a handwritten note, here are a few things to remember:
Consider the recipient: Think about your relationship with the person you’re writing to. The level of familiarity you’ll use depends on whether the person you’re congratulating is a close friend, your boss, or a member of senior management.
If you’re writing to a colleague, your salutation might be more casual, and you can address them by their first name. Someone in a leadership position will require a more formal greeting.
Communicate ASAP: As soon as the promotion becomes public knowledge, make it a priority to say congratulations to your coworker. Share your eagerness and excitement quickly so they read your message when the joy is still fresh.
Keep it concise: The body of your letter should explain the basics of why you’re congratulating them. Be sure to include a reference to their new job title and applaud their achievement. You can also mention the hard work you’ve seen them do.
Explain how you know: If your teammate didn’t inform you of the news personally, tell them how you heard. This improves communication and gives them an idea of the reach of their contribution to the organization.
For example, you can say that your manager just informed the team in a group meeting, which lets your coworker know that their good news is being broadcasted and they should expect communication from the rest of the team.
Offer praise and encouragement: Express your good wishes and confidence in your coworker’s ability to meet the demands of their new role. If possible, use a personal anecdote to exemplify their capacity to do the job. They may find your encouragement helps them meet the new challenges of their next job.
End on a heartfelt note: End your email or message by communicating sincerely to your coworker that they have your continued support. Offer your best wishes as they move forward in their career. Just remember to be authentic.
Don’t forget to proofread: You’re writing a professional correspondence, even if you’re friends with the person getting promoted. The text should still appear polished and professional. Your coworker will appreciate the time and care you put into your letter.
More ways to congratulate someone on a promotion
Feeling valued and respected is a top quality people look for in a workplace. Contributing to those feelings, even if you’re not a leader, improves everyone’s experience. And taking extra steps when congratulating someone on a promotion is one way to make someone feel appreciated.
If you feel your coworker’s promotion deserves more than a few lines in an email, here are other ways to celebrate their accomplishment:
Invite them out: If it suits your company culture, organize a lunch or evening outside of work to wish your colleague well. An outing will give everyone on the team an opportunity to add their congratulations and celebrate the success.
Decorate their new office or cubicle: If your workspace allows it, add a festive touch to the promotee’s new workspace with balloons, streamers, and other decorations. Don’t overdo it, and be sure to help them clean up after they finish celebrating.
Some things to avoid
No matter how you choose to mark this event, make sure your commemoration is appropriate to your relationship and your workplace. Your boss may better appreciate a more subdued gesture, while a casual, fun event works for a close colleague or friend.
Either way, your colleague should feel supported by your message of congratulations. It shouldn’t distract them from the excitement of starting their next career phase. Here are a few common mistakes people make when sending congratulations and how to prevent them.
Being negative: Don’t mention any negative impacts or potential challenges. Your message should focus on the positive aspects of your colleague’s promotion. Don’t talk about the difficulties of filling their old job or the potential roadblocks of their learning process, for example. Just focus on the excitement.
Being opportunistic: This is not the time to ask for favors or seek to benefit from your coworker’s promotion. If you want to ask for help, do so in a separate message after they’ve had time to settle in.
Being effusive: Be enthusiastic about your colleague’s promotion, but don’t overdo it. Exaggerated praise can seem insincere or make them feel uncomfortable.
Being wordy: If you’re sending a written message, choose your words carefully and keep it professionally concise. Don’t include irrelevant details that distract from your intended purpose.
Being insincere: People can usually tell when you aren’t being genuine. If you’ve any reservations about your coworker’s abilities or resent them if you didn’t get a promotion, keeping a respectful silence is better than lashing out.
Examples of congratulatory messages
If you’re unsure what to include in your congratulations email, use these templates as your guide. Be sure to personalize them to suit the occasion and your relationship. And as always, take the time to proofread and edit your words carefully.
It’s a good idea to ask someone else to help you look the message over before hitting send.
Congratulatory email for a close colleague
You can be more casual when sending your good wishes to a close teammate or friend. Be sure to share a fond memory of working together and focus on the employee strengths they’ll bring to the role.
Subject line: Way to go!
I just heard from [team member name] in HR that you’ve been promoted to [role]. That is fantastic news. After working with you on our latest product launch, I knew your hard work and dedication would lead to great things.
Congratulations on the promotion. I can’t wait to see you make this role your own. I’ll be cheering for you at our meeting on Monday!
All the best,
Congratulatory email for a superior
Sending a congratulations message to your boss on a promotion requires a more formal touch. Consider how you would usually address them and keep your language professional, whether they were already supervising you or are a new manager.
Subject line: Congratulations on your promotion
This is a quick note to congratulate you on your appointment as the new [role]. My supervisor, [name], notified us of your promotion at this morning’s sales meeting.
It’s been a pleasure working with you. I remember the patience and guidance you showed me during my onboarding period. You always answered my questions thoroughly, no matter how inconsequential. Your kindness was greatly appreciated and made a significant impact.
Congratulations, and good luck with your new chapter. I look forward to witnessing your continued accomplishments.
Alternatives ways of saying “congratulations”
Chances are that your coworker is receiving dozens of messages about their promotion. If you don’t want your message to get lost amongst a flood of “congratulations,” here are a few alternative job promotion quotes to help it stand out:
I’m thrilled for you
You deserve it
I’m proud of you
Way to shine
A round of applause
A toast to your success
Don’t stop showing support
Learning how to congratulate someone on a promotion is a great opportunity to express gratitude in the workplace. It develops your teamwork skills and strengthens your relationships with everyone involved.
Celebrating a coworker or supervisor’s latest accomplishment is essential to developing a healthy corporate culture where everyone can succeed. It will also help build your network so your connections cheer you on when you earn a new opportunity or promotion of your own.