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How to Respond to a Complimentary Email From Your Boss

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Nothing feels better than a "thank you" note, particularly when it comes from the boss. When a compliment comes in the form of an email, know how to respond accordingly. Business etiquette is as important as any other office skill. Do not ignore your note of gratitude. In fact, your response may affect your career in many ways.


The No. 1 thing you should do when you receive a compliment or "thank you" from your boss is thank that person for acknowledging your hard work. Managers and executives may not always have time to relay words of appreciation to their staff members. If you receive a word of thanks, it is because you have done a job that is worthy of recognition. Do not ignore this. Take the time to get up from your desk, stop by your boss’ office and let her know that you appreciate the comment. Do not take up much time doing this. A simple, “I appreciate the acknowledgment for the time I spent on that project. Thank you,” will do.

Give Back

If you receive thanks, return the gratitude. Top managers are often some of the most underappreciated people at a company. When you have an opportunity to thank your boss for her investment in your success, do so. Such reciprocity helps to build an atmosphere of camaraderie and teamwork. Convey your thanks via an email or in person.

Print it Out

Ask your employer whether you can print out the complimentary email for your personnel file. Most managers have no problem with this. Records of compliments and praise from supervisors are essential at performance review time. Your employer may not remember the “thank you” that you received four, five or six months ago. Provide documentation when your salary review comes due.

Ask for More

When you acknowledge your boss' praise, ask what you can do even better. This initiative may further impress your boss and lets her know that you are serious about your career at the company. Volunteer to participate on a new project or find out whether your organization offers training or reimbursement for education. Agree to cross-train in other areas of your organization to enhance your skills and abilities.


Aanya Rose has been writing since 1998. Her work has appeared in "ADDitude," "Curl," "Diabetes Alternatives," "Fitness," the "Healing Path" and more. She has served as a channel manager for various websites and worked in consultation and training. Rose holds a B.S. and Ph.D.

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