How to show appreciation to your retiring boss with a warm thank-you message

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Sincere appreciation is the essence of good working relationships. Also, when you appreciate someone, it is as lovely a gesture as would be any other reward. When you thank a co-worker for his/her hard work, it boosts mutual trust and creates long-lasting relationships.

In case of your boss who is retiring, a thank-you message shows a very warm gesture. It will show him that you value his dedication and achievements. That will make you stand out from other employees.

Writing thank-you notes or messages is a good way to show such appreciation. People like when someone says a sincere thank-you. They remember those who took out time for writing a note or message for them. This could be in the form of an e-mail for formal appreciation or a personal handwritten card that presents a warm gesture.

When to send a thank-you message/ e-mail to a retiring boss?

Give an appreciation message/ write a thank-you mail to your retiring boss most preferably on the day of farewell itself. However, do not give it before the farewell party as it would seem hastened.

You can send an e-mail any time on the day of farewell. If it is a message, you should read it in the farewell party itself or present it in the written form by writing in a card.

Which medium to use?

A spoken thank-you message may be in the form of a short speech. It can be about 150-200 words.

A paper message is best for those who would appreciate old-school ways of receiving appreciation. Some colleagues may feel a paper message on a card may convey more warmth and positivity. But remember it is not as quick as an e-mail message. It also requires more resources. Still, we need to appreciate a written message as the person can keep it as a souvenir for the life after retirement.

An e-mail thank-you message is quicker. It is also better when you do not have much time for preparation. An important thing to note here is that if appreciation email is sent late, it may lose its significance. Your boss may not receive it in the same way. So it is wiser to send an e-mail message at the right time (on your boss’ last day at office).

Layout for written message or e-mail message

A message has a simple layout. No complicated layout is required because effective communication has only a single purpose: being understood.

For writing a thank-you message on a paper/ card, the following layout may be used.


October 8, 2020

Dear Ms. Linda

I appreciate the efforts put in by you in helping our company scale new heights. I’m glad I got a chance to work under you.

We wish you a healthy and fulfilling life ahead.

God bless you forever,


1. Begin with the heading ‘Message’.

2. Put the date.

3. Use an appropriate salutation. Using ‘Dear’ before the name is the best way for this. If we are writing to someone who is older/ more experienced (as in this case writing to a boss), salutations like ‘Ms. Linda’ or ‘Dear Ms. Smith’ do the job in a better way.

4. Begin with an effective line that shows your appreciation.

5. Go on to describe how the colleague’s hard work matters a lot. Brief details of his/ her work may be given to make the message impressionable.

6. Remember that you need to be concise.

7. Use a warm closing like:

  • Gratefully
  • With gratitude
  • Blessings
  • God bless
  • God bless you
  • God bless you now and always

For writing a thank-you message on e-mail the given layout may be used.



Subject: Appreciation/ Gratitude for your hard work

Dear Ms. Linda

I appreciate the efforts put in by you in helping our company scale new heights. I’m glad I got a chance to work under you.

We wish you a healthy and fulfilling life ahead.

God bless you forever,


1. In an e-mail message, the date and time are not required as they appear automatically.

2. The subject line should have a word that is synonymous with ‘thank-you’.

3. The message and the closing that follows will be like the paper message. All other considerations will be the same.

Crafting the written message

The most important thing is to write the message well. Remember the following tips for writing an effective thank-you message.

1. Ideally, a thank-you message/note should be 4 to 6 lines (roughly 30 to 50 words).

2. The language used should be simple so that the message does its work easily. It should be well understood.

3. The language must not be too formal. Such language is outdated. It should be the right mix of informal and decent language.

4. A suitable medium for conveying the message must be chosen. You may choose from handwritten notes, messages on cards or e-mails. The choice of the medium must be as per the circumstances.

Techniques and examples

Let us explore the techniques of writing a thank-you message for a boss. This process should be step-by-step.

1. Decide what you want to exactly thank for: Remember there could be many reasons why you want to thank a boss for. There can be many reasons yet there would be one particular thing that makes you want to thank the person. It could be something like professional assistance, role in a business success, some personal help or some opportunity given.

2. Choose the beginning words carefully based on your reason: Before preparing to write, you must decide which words shall be the most suitable to begin with, for the purpose. Some of these could be:

For professional assistance

  • I appreciate your guidance/ assistance/ help/ time.
  • Many thanks for your help!
  • I want to express my gratitude for…
  • It would not have been possible without your guidance/ motivation/ assistance.
  • Thanks for being my savior when…

Role in the company

  • My appreciation for your hard work…
  • Thanks for your key role/ pivotal role in managing/ organizing/ planning…
  • It would never have been possible without your untimely cooperation…
  • I appreciate the efforts put in by you/ your contribution to…
  • Thank you for your strategic planning.
  • Thank you for showing what it means to be a boss.
  • My gratitude to you for being the person behind it all.

Thanking for a personal help/ some professional opportunity

  • Many thanks for believing in me/ us and showing the way!
  • Thank you for your timely intervention.
  • Thank you so much for having me on your team…
  • Thank you for your shoulder when everything seemed dark.
  • I appreciate you for recommending me…

3. Complete the message further: Go on to give details of the achievement/ work as may be suitable for the message. Remember that the person’s contribution has to be focussed upon.

For this the following phrases may be used:

  • I am glad to tell you…
  • I am happy to narrate your marvelous achievements…
  • As the new head, I am filled with pride to place on record your illustrious career! (quite formal)
  • It makes me swell with pride…
  • Your contribution in… has been quite remarkable indeed.
  • You’ve been right there…

4. End with an impactful line about future: When you end your message, remember to use a line like one of these.

  • I look forward to seeing more of the spark in you in your life ahead!
  • You will be a brilliant success in your life post-retirement too, I’m sure!
  • Working with people like you is always a pleasure!
  • You will always be remembered in our prayers!
  • Write a book of your achievements!

Some examples

Thank-you e-mail to a colleague who worked hard in his time to get a restaurant famous.



Subject Line: Thank You For Your Hard Work

Dear Mr Ross,

I appreciate all your work and help in taking our restaurant to where it is.

You’ve been right there, helping out wherever and whenever needed for all these years. Everything has finally come together only because of your ingenious strategies. We will relish the sweetest fruit of your hard labor.

I’m looking forward to your guidance as a veteran restaurateur.

Beyond grateful,


Farewell message for a corporate boss

Dear Mr Nichols,

My highest gratitude for being the friendly boss you have been! Your open-mindedness and generosity will continue to inspire me and my colleagues forever. You shall indeed be remembered by generations.

The celebrated career you leave behind will give us footprints to walk on. You will be a brilliant success in your life post-retirement too, I’m sure!

May you be blessed always.

Thank you!


Presenting a message of gratitude will surely let your boss know his life and hard work has been noticed and valued. It will etch a place for you in his heart forever. So a thank-you expressed with a smile can be the best memory for farewell.

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