How to Appreciate a Subordinate via Email

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Looking for tips on writing “thank you emails to employees”, read How to Write Thank You Emails to Employees. Do you want to appreciate your teammates via email? Read How to Appreciate Your Teammates via Email.

When you appreciate a subordinate, your action helps to strengthen your team. Supervisors or employers many times do not know how to appreciate a subordinate or see reasons to do so. The mindset of some employers is that as long as they pay the employee, he or she should get the job done. That is true, but if your focus is on getting real results, you will need to learn how to appreciate a subordinate at your workplace.

People want to be appreciated. It tells them you notice the extra effort that they put in at work. Also, it is not out of place to appreciate a subordinate for doing jobs expected of him or her. When you appreciate a subordinate or an employee at work, it motivates the person to put in more. This is one of the easiest ways of getting employees to work harder and remain loyal.

In contrast, most times it seems easier to rather find faults than to appreciate a subordinate. This is common in companies where there is undue work pressure. Every supervisor likes excellent results. However, remember that it is people who are well motivated that produce such results.

Why Should You Appreciate a Subordinate?

Appreciating your subordinate

Below, we highlight the main reasons you should appreciate a subordinate:

  • Everyone wants to receive appreciation, including you. Remember the golden rule, do to others what you will like them to do to you. Furthermore, it will not hurt to say thank you.
  • When you appreciate a subordinate, he or she feels accepted and loved. These feelings are easy, non-financial incentives that keep subordinates motivated and loyal. A motivated subordinate will likely perform better than an unmotivated one.
  • As a leader, you set the right example for your team when you appreciate a subordinate. Therefore, this will help create a healthy culture of showing appreciation among team members.
  • An atmosphere where appreciation is easily shown encourages reductions in work pressure, tension and unhealthy conflicts. Hence, appreciation naturally boosts your team’s results.
  • You build trust when you make it a culture to appreciate subordinates. When your subordinates trust you, they tend to carry out your directives passionately and go the extra mile for you. Most times, this will yield better results.

Misconceptions about Appreciating a Subordinate

Misconceptions about Appreciating a Subordinate2

Let us look at some lame reasons some supervisors or employers despise appreciating their subordinates or employees:

  • Some supervisors or employees feel that when they appreciate a subordinate, it makes them look weak. This is so far from the truth. As we have pointed out above, a subordinate will rather want to be more committed to you when he or she feels accepted and loved.
  • Many employers believe that the salary the employee receives is enough appreciation for the person. They claim this, especially when the salaries are paid on time. If you appreciate a subordinate by paying a bonus or raising his or her salary, then you have shown due appreciation. However, an employee will not see any appreciation in receiving the salary he has duly worked for.
  • Another myth is that if you appreciate a subordinate, the person would eventually take you for granted. That means the subordinate will not take your directives seriously. As we have already established, this not true. Some people may cite examples of previous employees who have proven their claim. The fact remains that not everyone is employable. There are bad employees, just like there are bad employers.
  • Some bosses are just plain ignorant of the benefits of appreciating subordinates. They do not bother about it. It may be their natural attitude to people around them, hence extending it to their subordinates.

Caution in Showing Appreciation

Caution in Showing Appreciation2

It is important to note that when appreciating a subordinate, one should not go overboard. Below are some points to have in mind:

  • Avoid creating bias among teammates. When you appreciate a subordinate for a particular task, do the same for his or her teammates for doing a similar task. This is so that you are not seen as displaying favoritism. Such an atmosphere will not encourage teamwork, it will breed animosity and impede your work.
  • When the subordinate being appreciated is of the opposite sex, ensure that the person does not misconceive your action. This is particularly more sensitive when the superior is male and the subordinate is female. Your gesture should be clear and must not give room for misinterpretation. Avoid paying compliments, reflecting the person’s looks or mannerisms. As a rule of thumb, do not send flowers as a way to appreciate a subordinate, whether male or female; it may be suggestive.
  • After you appreciate a subordinate, the person may display a lot of goodwill towards you. He may start saying good things about you among his colleagues as well. Some bosses start compromising their standards in the light of this because they do not want to lose their “good image”. They avoid being stern or issuing queries when necessary. One’s ability to be balanced is what makes one a good leader. Therefore, do not let down your goals or value just to be seen as good.

Tips on How to Appreciate a Subordinate

Tips on How to Appreciate a Subordinate2

The are many ways to appreciate a subordinate. It is a long list, but we have shown some below:

  • You may drop a short Thank You note on the person’s desk.
  • Try sending a Thank You card; via email or snail mail.
  • Consider a getting a gift for the subordinate.
  • As an employer, you may want give out shopping vouchers to deserving employees.
  • A verbal show of appreciating is also good, but may not be enough in some cases.

We are basically dealing with how to appreciate a subordinate via email, hence, we will delve deeper into this.

Guideline: How to Appreciate a Subordinate via Email

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  • The subject line should reflect appreciation. For example: Thank You Jane!
  • Make your email concise. That is, your points are clear and brief.
  • Mention what you wish to appreciate the person for and how much you value the person’s input.
  • Remain honest in expressing your appreciation, but do not stress it too much. Be balanced.
  • Send the email promptly. Do not let the novelty of the subordinate’s action wane.  
  • Proofread to check for typos and grammatical errors. It is vital to note that misspelling the person’s name may weaken the impact of your appreciation.

Sample Email 1: How to Appreciate a Subordinate via Email

Subject Line: You did Great!

Dear Joan,

Thank you so much for completing the assignment that I gave you on time and within budget. I also noticed your keen attention to detail, this has ensured that the entire project was completed smoothly.

It is great having you on my team.

With many thanks,


Sample Email 2: How to Appreciate a Subordinate via Email

Subject Line: Thank You So Much

Dear Moses,

I deeply appreciate the effort you put in getting my new office ready. Clearly, you made a lot of personal sacrifice to be present during the renovation and organization of the office.

I appreciate the values you have added to the company. It is great having you on board.

Thanks once again.




Appreciating your subordinate will improve their morale and eventually drive up productivity for everybody. It is wise to appreciate them as often as you can.

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4 thoughts on “How to Appreciate a Subordinate via Email”

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