7 cringe-free tips to thank your boss for a raise

If you’ve been promoted recently, be it unexpectedly or after some anticipation, this has probably been naturally accompanied by a nice salary increase.

Or you may have just got a due pay raise after a couple of years working for the same company. And in the same way, you’d show your appreciation when you receive a gift, it makes sense to thank your employer for the raise.

But how do you thank a boss for a raise? Well, something like this is easier said than done. You’re probably worrying about being regarded as a bootlicker if you go and express your gratitude in person.

Or, maybe, you’re not sure how to write a meaningful thank-you note without sounding obsequious or cringe.

It’s all totally understandable. But there are actually many ways to thank your boss for a raise without feeling embarrassed or looking kind of sucky and here you’ll find such examples.

Should you thank your boss for a raise?

You should thank your boss for the pay raise or bonus you received because expressing gratitude in the professional world is as important as it is in your personal life.

It will emphasize your appreciation for the recognition, as well as it will enhance your future communication with your boss.

Various gratitude studies at the workplace confirm that showing appreciation, whether as an employer or among employees, boosts morale and promotes higher work engagement.

For instance, research shows that nearly 53% of American employees enjoy and are being thanked by their employers on a regular basis, while 75% say that they expect and see a financial reward as the most effective and relevant form of gratitude from their managers.

So, in that sense, why wouldn’t your boss appreciate a similar reciprocal attitude from you if they’ve just advanced your career and improved your standing in life financially?

Saying anything short of a simple and sincere ‘Thank you’, or worse – not saying anything, will make a bad impression on your boss.

Also, we did our own survey, asking 812 employees from various IT and marketing agencies if they usually thank their bosses after getting a raise. About 74% (601 respondents) confirmed that they do.

survey on thanking bosses after a raise by Office Topics

How to thank your boss for a raise (in person or in writing)

You should thank your boss for a pay raise in an authentic and thoughtful way while letting them in on how you truly feel. So here’s an example of how to thank your employer for a raise:

“I feel really valued and appreciated, especially after my recent pay raise. Thank you so much for your continued trust in me and respect for my contribution to the team!”

In the above example, you place the emphasis on feeling appreciated and trusted at work. It speaks for your genuine commitment, and belief in your employer’s fair judgment and ability to recognize your input so far.

Your boss will sense this and feel appreciated, too. They’ll also feel gratified about your understanding that your salary increase comes with the expectation for a higher level of job performance on your part.

Whether in person or by sending a thoughtful thank-you note to your employer, expressing your appreciation for the raise will show your boss that you have integrity and basic good manners, as well as respect for others and their efforts.

It may also open doors for you, in terms of getting even better noticed, as, let’s admit it, there will always be folks who wouldn’t bother showing their gratitude after a salary increase.

So, stand out by following these 7 tips of what to say to thank your boss for a raise.

1. Retain a professional tone of voice

Avoid being too informal when offering your gratitude to your manager, even if you’re on very friendly terms with them on a daily basis.

Using slang and interjections of excitement like ‘Wow’ (if you thank your boss in person) will dilute the main message of appreciation. Refrain from too many exclamation marks, as well, should you express your gratefulness for the raise in writing.

2. Stay to the point

To convey your genuine message of appreciation to your superior, stay to the point, in order to achieve the desired effect.

Anything like rambling on about how the extra money will help your family or what you’ll do to not disappoint your boss in the future will sound crass and out of place. Moreover, your manager may start having doubts about their decision and your character, in general.

3. Be sincere

Your ’Thank you’ should be authentic and true to how you really feel. Your boss will see through any of your words that sound or read fake and insincere.

We are all guilty of expressing forced gratitude from time to time, be it for an over-the-top or uncalled-for gesture; for an outright hypocritical act of benevolence, or for an obviously ingratiating gift. However, in this instance, your appreciation should be bona fide.

4. Don’t procrastinate

Don’t take your time to thank your employer for the raise. It’s important to send them a candid thank-you message, hand-written on a nice card, shortly after you’ve been promoted and/or you got that wage increase.

The same goes if you decide to speak to them in person to express your gratitude. Waiting for too long or not finding the time, soon enough, to write or say ‘Thank you’ could fall flat, making your act of gratitude look less genuine.

5. Creativity never hurts

You can be a bit creative and write a thankful note on a pretty handmade card, especially if you’re unable to find a quiet moment to speak to your boss in person.

A store-bought greeting card, titled “To the one and only best boss” is probably not the best choice, in this case.

You can get a piece of card of a neutral light color, fold it and write a sincere, short, and sweet message on the inside to say ‘thank you’ for the pay raise. The effort of writing your note by hand will surely make a greater impact.

6. Accept their consideration with grace

Your gratitude for getting a salary increase should not be expressed at the expense of your dignity.

Don’t look as if you’re trying to suck up to your boss, either in your choice of words or worse, by thanking them with a gift or personal favor.

Any type of sycophantic behavior will make your boss wonder about your moral compass. Rumors of favoritism going on can also quickly spread among your coworkers, disturbing the dynamic of mutual respect in the office.

7. Highlight your future commitment to the company

Your thankful message for the pay raise should also express your acknowledgment of the high expectations your boss has of you.

After all, they are not promoting you and paying you more for your good looks, right?

Thank them professionally and with a high level of integrity by stressing your continued commitment to the company’s success, rather than going overboard with unrealistic promises and kissing up to your boss.

How to thank your boss for a raise in an email

You can also thank your boss for the salary increase in an email, which will give you a better opportunity to include things that a handwritten card or a short conversation wouldn’t.

Here’s an example to hopefully inspire you about how to say ‘thank you’ for a raise in an email:

Subject line: A thank you note from [Your name]

Greeting line: Dear, [Title and Name]

Email body: “I am writing to you to express my sincere gratitude for my (unexpected) recent salary increase (and promotion). I very much appreciate your generosity and trust in my ability to take on more responsibilities in future projects.

I thoroughly enjoy being part of your team, where your leadership input is felt by all on a daily basis.

You’ve been helping me develop my skills to reach my full potential. And I can honestly say that this act of believing further in me is beyond motivational.

I am looking forward to more exciting challenges and rewarding accomplishments for our team that will help drive the company’s success.

May I thank you again for your conviction in me and the given opportunity to prove my expertise even further?

Closing line: Sincerely Yours or Kindest Regards, [Your name]

Your email doesn’t need to be too long and should be free of errors, so proofread it carefully.

It should include a to-the-point message of gratitude for your pay raise and a brief comment on your intention to actively contribute to the future company’s growth.

Is it appropriate to thank your boss for a raise in a text?

Although not ideal, you can text your boss to say ‘thank you’ for giving you a pay raise. Do this, however, if the work context allows it.

In other words, how to thank your manager for a salary increase will depend a lot on your relationship with your boss, the size of the company, and whether you’re working remotely or on-site, and so on.

Say, you’re working for a small-sized business with 1 to 10 employees, with no middle management, and the work environment is very informal or virtual.

Then, it won’t be strange to send a brief and friendly instant message to your boss that says: “Hey, Bob, my extra pay is much appreciated! Thanks, man!”, because you’re close with them outside work, for example.

Whatever way you choose to express appreciation for a raise, the most important thing to remember is to do it graciously, sincerely, and in a timely manner.

My experience of thanking my boss for a raise

Believe it or not, I have been working for the same tech company for over a decade and I have come to know my boss on a semi-personal level.

As I progressed in my career, I’ve had several pay raises. So I’ve always made the effort to thank my boss in person whenever I had the chance or at least text them, saying something like “Hey, thanks for the increase, really appreciated.” knowing that this type of acknowledgment would be enough and appropriate for the type and size of the company that I work for.

Frequently asked questions

Is it appropriate to thank your boss for a raise during a team meeting or should it be done privately?

It’s best to thank your boss privately to maintain professionalism and avoid making other team members uncomfortable. A personal acknowledgment is more genuine and appropriate.

If I feel the raise was overdue or less than expected, should I still thank my boss?

Yes, always express gratitude for any raise received. If you have concerns about the amount or timing, address them separately in a constructive manner.

What should I do if I notice a discrepancy in the raise amount on my paycheck after expressing gratitude?

Approach HR or payroll to clarify the discrepancy. It’s essential to separate gratitude for the raise from any administrative errors that might occur.

Is it appropriate to discuss your raise and gratitude with coworkers?

It’s best to keep discussions about your raise private. Sharing such information can lead to office politics or unintentional comparisons among colleagues.