If you have a great boss, you are one of the lucky ones. According to Gallup, only about 10 percent of those in management positions have a natural talent for the job. The rest can learn the skills necessary to motivate and inspire, but that means a rocky road for their teams in the interim. In other words, good leaders are hard to come by. If you have one that creates a positive culture, places a premium on recognition, and listens to your feedback, Boss’s Day (on October 16) is the perfect time to express your appreciation. Of course, it can be challenging to find just the right words for your Boss’s Day messages, so these are a few suggestions to get you started.
Leaders that listen
It’s surprisingly rare to have a leader that is easy to approach, accepting of feedback, and open to two-way communication. On a five-point scale (five being highest), one study showed these responses to critical communication questions:
- Only 27 percent of employees gave the highest rating to the statement “I feel I can talk with my manager about non-work related issues.”
- Slightly more, 37 percent, gave the highest rating to the statement “I feel I can approach my manager with any type of question.”
If you work for a leader who rates a five in these areas, you've probably noticed that your team members are more engaged and productive than your peers in other departments. Here’s how to say thanks to the boss who makes that possible:
- Whether it’s a work-related concern or a personal issue, I know I can count on you for guidance and support. That is a rare quality in a leader, and I appreciate everything you do.
- I know it’s called Boss’s Day, but that doesn’t quite fit. I think of you as a coach, a mentor, and a leader. Thank you for your constant willingness to listen to my perspective - and to do something about it when you can.
- Thank you for always taking the time to listen to my feedback. Not only do you make me feel heard on a daily basis, but you truly listen and show you care by having meaningful conversations with me, then following up by taking action on my feedback.
- One day isn’t enough to recognize the work you put in all year-round. Thank you for always being willing to listen, helping us to meet our goals, and showing us how much you appreciate our efforts - even when things don’t go as planned. You are more than a boss - you are a leader.
- Whenever I feel discouraged, I know I can count on your support. Thank you for making me feel like a priority, no matter how busy you are.
- Leaders that truly listen are rare. Thanks for being one of them.
Managers that motivate
Does your company have a few departments or teams that are totally dysfunctional? If yours isn’t one of them, you probably have a highly-engaged manager. Studies show that a leader’s engagement in the job is responsible for at least 70 percent of the difference in engagement levels across teams.
One of the biggest signs of engaged leaders is their commitment to their team's success. The most talented managers focus on team members’ strengths, not their weaknesses. At the same time, they have the sort of motivational skills that encourage employees to reach their own career goals.
If you show up every day highly-engaged and ready to do your best work, thank your boss for creating a positive, strengths-based team culture with these Boss’s Day messages:
- Jack Welch said, "Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." Thanks for the hard work you put into my growth and development each day.
- A wise man once said, “The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers." Thank you for your commitment to helping me grow into a leader.
- According to Ray Kroc, "The quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves." The high standards you set for yourself are an inspiration to our team. Thank you!
- Happy Boss’s Day to a mentor and leader who knows how to keep us inspired!
- You are more than a boss. You challenge us to think bigger, step outside our comfort zones, and take smart risks to reach our full potential. That makes you a leader, and we appreciate everything you do.
- I have heard it said that average leaders raise the bar on themselves, good leaders raise the bar for others, and great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar. You are clearly a great leader, because you have motivated me to raise my own bar again and again. Thank you.
Bosses that appreciate
Everyone wants to be recognized for their efforts, but research shows that frequent, positive feedback is in short supply. When it comes to effective recognition, most companies are missing the mark:
- Less than half (49 percent) give performance-based recognition
- Only 36 percent give timely recognition
- Just 34 percent give recognition that is inclusive
- A mere 25 percent give recognition frequently
If you have a leader who prioritizes recognition and employee appreciation, these Boss’ Day messages may be right for you:
- It's said that a good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, and a little less than his share of the credit. I've noticed that you live this every day. Thank you for being my biggest fan!
- You always make it a point to recognize my efforts. It’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to recognize yours. Thank you for your constant support and leadership, today and every day.
- Thank you for making it a priority to recognize my contributions every day. I appreciate the hard work and dedication you put into our team’s success.
- Thank you for always being my cheerleader and recognizing my everyday work.
- Thank you for always sharing words of appreciation and being a recognition champion for me and the team. Your support means the world.
- I'm always motivated to go the extra mile, because I know you appreciate my work. Thank you for putting a priority on recognizing my efforts each day - I'm grateful for your consistent and ongoing support.
- It’s nice to work for a boss who always recognizes and celebrates the team's wins. You make it a pleasure to come in and give my best effort each day. Thank you!
Supervisors that care
Anyone who has been in the workforce for a few years has experienced the discomfort of reporting to a bad boss. In many cases, ineffective management is a primary driver for voluntary turnover. In fact, one survey showed that 50 percent of respondents left a job due to poor leadership at some point in their careers. If you have a boss that gives his or her all to the job every day, it’s worth recognizing that effort. These are Boss’s Day messages that show appreciation for leaders who care:
- Peter Drucker said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.” Thanks for being our leader through even the most complicated situations.
- I know how busy you are, and I appreciate that you're never too busy to provide guidance and support when I need it. Thank you!
- We notice the effort you put in to making this a great place to work, and we appreciate you - today and every day.
- Lots of people complain about work, but you never do. I know how fortunate I am to have a thoughtful, caring leader like you in my corner. Thank you!
- It’s been a challenging year, but you never let it show. Thank you for your calm, thoughtful handling of complicated problems. Your advice, support, and guidance has helped us thrive, no matter what obstacles came our way.
- I know we can sometimes be a tough team, but somehow you make managing us look effortless! Thanks for sticking with us through thick and thin - we know we can count on you.
And finally, a bit of silliness
Not everyone is comfortable with heartfelt Boss’s Day messages, and that’s okay. You can still let leaders know you appreciate their contributions while keeping things light. Here are a few suggestions for those with a reputation for wisecracks:
- Happy Boss’s Day to someone who does the job no one else wants - managing me!
- Sorry I was late - I stopped to buy you this beautiful Boss’s Day card!
- Happy Boss’s Day to a person I would speak to even if you didn’t sign my paychecks!
- In honor of Boss’s Day, I think you should declare a half-day for the whole office!
- Thanks for answering my endless questions! You are better than Google!
The best Boss's Day messages are customized
The bottom line is that when managers feel appreciated and they are engaged in their work, your own workday is far more pleasant. A funny or thoughtful thank you on Boss’s Day can show leaders that you notice and appreciate their efforts.
The best Boss’s Day messages are customized for the recipient, and they share specific, relevant examples of what you would like to see more of. You can add to the impact of your note with a quick story about a time when your boss did something that was particularly meaningful to you.
Finally, remember that appreciation is important year-round - not just on Boss’s Day. Frequent, specific, and real-time recognition can transform the tone of your team culture. Whenever you have an opportunity to thank your boss for hard work on your behalf, do it. The impact on your work environment may astonish you.
Are you ready to celebrate Boss's Day? Get started by sending a customized appreciation card to your manager today!
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