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How to Write a Congratulations Email for a Work Achievement

It always feels good to get a pat on the back for a job well done, especially at work. Writing a congratulations email to a colleague gives them positive recognition for their accomplishment while building goodwill on your team. Here’s how to quickly draft an effective congratulations email for achievement.

What is a congratulations email?

A congratulations email offers your praise for the achievement of one or more of your coworkers. It describes their success and communicates your positive sentiment about their contribution. Bosses can send congratulatory emails to their reports or colleagues to other team members. They can even be sent outside your company to people within your network that you’d like to stay close with.

A congratulations message can be personal, sent directly to the individual you’re praising, or sent to a group of people to acknowledge your congrats among a team.

Why it’s important to send congratulations for work achievements

Sending congratulatory emails can help your colleagues feel appreciated. When you communicate that you noticed their accomplishment, it lets them know their work has value. This is especially important if you’re a manager to ensure your team members know you recognize their efforts. 

Congratulations emails also build strong professional relationships. Just as congratulating your friends on major life milestones is part of maintaining social bonds, acknowledging your coworkers’ professional accomplishments is a small gesture that goes a long way toward forming productive work relationships.

When should you send a congratulatory message

It’s appropriate to send a congratulations email when a colleague:

  • Gets a promotion
  • Receives an award
  • Successfully completes a challenging project
  • Reaches a professional milestone, like ten years with the company
  • Achieves a goal, like obtaining a prestigious certification
  • Performs impressive accomplishments, like doubling their sales
  • Goes above and beyond their normal duties to do a good job

Send the message promptly, ideally within a day or two of the accomplishment you recognize.

What to include in a congratulations email

A simple subject line

Use something that clearly states the purpose of the message, like ‘Job well done, Martha’

A strong opening

Express your congratulations in the first few words of the email.

A statement of the accomplishment

Include specific details about what your coworker did to elicit the message. Call out anything that you found particularly impressive, like if you know they worked a long time or had to overcome obstacles to achieve their goal.

A warm closing

Wrap up the letter with ‘Best wishes,’ ‘sincerely’ or one final ‘congrats.’

Sample congratulations emails for achievement

Example 1- personal


Congratulations on being promoted to department chair! I know how hard you’ve worked as the deputy chair, especially on last quarter’s fundraising event. 

You’ve been a great example to me since I started here at Acme Corporation, and I’m excited to see your continued success. They couldn’t have picked a better person for the job.

Warm regards, 


Example 2- group


Please join me in congratulating Allison Kelley on obtaining her MBA. Allison set this goal for herself back in 2021 as part of her broader plan to work toward a role in upper management.  

She has completed a rigorous academic program while balancing her responsibilities at ABC Organization. It has been inspiring to watch her apply what she’s been learning in her program to her job in real-time, and I know I speak for all of us when I say I’m impressed with her dedication and drive.  

Congrats again, Allison, and best wishes for what’s ahead!

Stan Meyers

Remember that although you’re sending a happy message, it’s still professional, so avoid going overboard with multiple exclamation points or emojis. Keep the tone positive and use more formal language for an effective message that will be well received.