Congratulating a co-worker on a promotion

Five people clinking glasses of champagne.

Promotions are always happy occasions in an office, as they recognize hard work and accomplishment. The last time someone in your company received a promotion, how did you congratulate him or her? Most people just shake hands and say a few nice words, but you can go above and beyond, especially if you're close with this co-worker. Here are a few ways to celebrate a big move upward:

Write them a card
Writing congratulations cards is a simple gesture that can mean a lot to the recipient. He or she can keep the cards as a reminder of a happy time at work. Not sure what to write inside? You can just sign your name or make it more personal with a note. Tell the person why you feel he or she deserved the promotion and that you're happy for him or her. If you're familiar with the person's work, mention specifics. Here are some examples:

1. "Since joining the company, you've improved the way we operate. I'm so proud of what you've done and can't wait to see what you will do in your new role. Congratulations!"

2. "Your work on this account has stood out among some of the best our company has done. Way to go! You earned it!"

3. "Your hard work and positive attitude have been a boon to our organization. Keep it up!"

Feel free to add more specifics. If you don't work with the individual regularly, you can just skip the compliments and go straight to the congratulations.

Give a gift
Why not commemorate a new position with personalized stationery? The gift both recognizes the promotion and is practical. Choose a format you think your co-worker will like and add his or her information, including name, role, and work phone number or email address. Your co-worker can use the paper to write to clients or take notes.

If you're a company owner, you can even make gifting new business cards to promoted employees a standard practice. This gesture both ensures your staff has up-to-date business cards and shows you care.

Bring a treat
Have an office-wide celebration by ordering dessert for everyone to enjoy, whether it's a cake, cookies or a fruit tray. Just make sure that whatever food you get is safe for your co-workers to eat. You can ask people ahead of time if they have food allergies or dietary restrictions and plan to accommodate them in your food selection.

Managers, when you announce the promotion, also let your staff know when treats will be available and what will be served.

Go out after work
Of course, you can always follow the age-old tradition of heading to your favorite haunt after hours to toast to your co-worker. Whether you grab a drink or a meal, going out is a fun way to celebrate with office mates you're close to. This is the perfect time to give your co-worker that card or gift as well.