8 Ways to Congratulate Someone for a Promotion


Earning a promotion at work is a big deal, and they deserve celebration! Some workplaces have an office-wide party, while others do things a bit more low-key. Either way, it’s important to know how to congratulate someone for a promotion in a professional, yet caring way. Here are some of the best ways you can congratulate someone for receiving a promotion in their company! 

Personalized Keepsakes

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  1. It doesn’t have to be big. While a majority of American workers indicate they like to receive recognition from managers or their companies, it’s important to note that not everyone likes big displays of congratulations. Instead, some prefer to receive smaller, but still impactful, gifts. 

Colorful engraved pens, gift cards and even a new mouse pad are all great options for small gifts you can give to congratulate someone on receiving a promotion. These items, while they might seem superficial at first, are items that they can use after they settle into their promotion! This way, you’ve given them something they will use even after the dust has settled and they’ve gotten comfortable in their new role. 

  1. Take them out for lunch. This doesn’t always have to mean the whole office goes with you both, but it’s still nice for employees to go out for lunch to celebrate their promotion. If you’re still going to be their boss, this is a good opportunity for you to talk with them about questions they have on the position or even any words of advice you can give them. If this is an employee you’ll no longer be supervising, you can still give them a piece of advice, but you’ll also want to talk with them a bit more outside of the range of your daily work activities. 

You might be surprised at the things you have in common with them, especially if you didn’t have much of a chance to really get to know them when they worked for you. You can go to their favorite restaurant or try a new place together — the choice is yours! 

  1. Give them a card with a message inside. Some companies send a standard e-card or even a simple “congrats on your promotion” card signed by the CEO that feels a little, well, bland. Give them a card filled with handwritten messages of congrats from fellow coworkers to celebrate their promotion! This makes the entire item more personal — people are more apt to keep cards if there’s a lot of personal messages in them! Choose something fun and upbeat rather than simple — a promotion is a great thing, and the cards given should be as positive, uplifting and fun as a promotion itself!

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  1. Give them a name plate for their new desk. A promotion usually means a new desk. A new desk means new decorating opportunities! A glass name plate with their name engraved on it is a fun keepsake gift you can give that coworker who just got a promotion and will have a brand new desk to themselves. If this is their first-ever promotion or their first leadership position, then a glass name plate is an even more impactful gift because it’s a symbol of how far they’ve come — and what to look forward to in the future! You can’t go wrong with giving your colleague who just received a promotion a glass name plate as a way to congratulate them. 
  1. Set up some games in the break room. Or, transform the office into an arena of sorts. Choose a day shortly after your colleagues promotion where there isn’t much on the calendar. Then, break out the games and let everyone enjoy themselves a day of fun and games at the office! Whether you make do with the office supplies you have, or you bring in all your favorite board and card games from home, it’s a great way to congratulate someone for their promotion, especially if the rest of the crew doesn’t often get a break. 
  1. Tell them. Sometimes, we get so caught up in what gifts to give that we forget many people just like to hear the word “Congrats.” If you’re struggling to come up with ways you can congratulate someone for receiving a promotion, you can simply tell them congrats. Since everyone likes to receive praise in different ways, verbal communication just might be the way they like to receive praise in the workplace. Regardless, they’ll be glad you recognized them for their achievements, even if you two don’t talk very often. 

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  1. Bring in some artisan coffee for the coffee bar. Most offices survive on caffeine alone, so it makes sense that everyone would love to enjoy some fresh cups of artisan brew during the work day. Use this as a time to let everyone know that because their coworker got a promotion, and it’s something they can celebrate, there’s fresh, luxury coffee available for all to enjoy. This will encourage other employees to go say congrats to their colleague, too! 

Most people don’t want to be known as the person in the office who didn’t congratulate someone else for an accomplishment. Make sure to include a fun coffee mug for your colleague of honor! Mugs are great personalized drinkware that can also be used as a pen holder or even decoration.

  1. Move on. Let’s be real here — promotions usually involve a competition, which probably means you also went for the same promotion. Clearly, you didn’t receive the promotion. One of the best ways you can congratulate someone for the promotion they received is for you to move on from not getting yours. Take this as a teaching moment. 

collection of personalized keepsakes

Instead of dwelling on all the things that didn’t go right, or why you didn’t get the position, you should instead go speak with the HR department or even the managers on the interview panel to see if there are things you could work on for the future. Who knows? It may even establish a mentorship with one of the employees on the interview panel!