It’s tricky to know what to say when someone is sick, especially if that someone is your coworker or boss. After all, your boss oversees your employment. Even if you enjoy each other’s company, you still may find it necessary to maintain a professional distance.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How to Say ‘Get Well Soon’ to Your Boss in an Email or Card
- How to Say ‘Get Well Soon’ to Your Boss After a Surgery
- How to Say ‘Get Well Soon’ to Your Boss’s Partner or Family Members
- Funny ‘Get Well Soon’ Messages to Share With Your Boss
Besides that, it’s not clear if HIPPA regulations restrict sending get well messages to someone in your office. These restrictions lead to awkward situations. You know through the company grapevine that your boss had surgery, but are you really supposed to talk about it? What if your boss wanted the operation to be private?
If you have a somewhat close relationship with your boss, and he or she disclosed an illness to you, you may want to send an individual get-well message. Here are some ways to spread joy and offer encouragement for someone who feels under the weather.
How to Say ‘Get Well Soon’ to Your Boss in an Email or Card
Some companies are discouraging the group “get well card” that is typically set out in a break room for employees to sign. But this shouldn’t stop you from sending an email or card to your boss on your own. Here are some ways to communicate get-well wishes to your boss.
1. “Sorry that you are under the weather. We hope to see you back at the office soon!”
This brief, innocuous statement doesn’t get into any details about why the person is sick. It’s short, sweet, and should earn you a few brownie points with the boss.
2. Send an edible arrangement
If you know that your boss’s illness doesn’t preclude them from eating fruit, send an edible arrangement. These are beautiful as well as practical. And if the adage is right, it may “keep the doctor away.”
3. “We know you are worried about work, but we have things under control. Please take the time you need to make a full recovery.”
People who gravitate toward leadership roles often have a difficult time not being in control. Your boss probably needs constant reminders to focus on their health or well-being instead of checking email.
4. Send some soup
Have some soup delivered to your boss who is home with a virus. This is a nice gesture and would be appreciated by anyone. Besides, it has been proven that chicken noodle soup has healing powers. Or was it beef and barley soup?
5. “I’m sorry to hear about your recent hospitalization. Our whole team is sending you well-wishes and prayers that you make a speedy recovery.”
There’s no need to go into any details regarding the hospitalization. Doing so may make your boss feel uncomfortable.
How to Say ‘Get Well Soon’ to Your Boss After a Surgery
Did your boss recently have surgery? If he or she shared this information with you, it would be appropriate for you to send a get well gift, as long as the present is not too personal in nature. Here are some ideas on how to send warm thoughts without being too intrusive.
6. Provide snacks or drinks for family members
Do you know your boss’s family? Why not create a care package for them to enjoy while visiting your boss in the hospital. Even though your boss may not benefit directly from this gift, it will make any patient feel better knowing that their loved ones are content.
7. “I caught you! Quit checking your work email! We are taking care of things at work so that you can focus on your recovery. Remember, our work is important, but your life is more important.”
Consider using your boss’s work email account to catch the person working while out on leave.
8. Send flowers
Sure, it may be overdone, but most people like to have something to brighten their hospital room. Send a flower arrangement to your boss as they recover from surgery.
9. Mow your boss’s lawn
Many people enjoy doing their own yard work. If your boss is such a person, you may consider taking care of this task while they’re in the hospital. Of course, check with your boss or boss’s spouse to get approval before doing so.
10. “I know it is probably difficult for you to follow someone else’s orders, but you need to do what your doctor says. Focus on your recovery so that you can get back to work soon. We miss you!”
Sometimes Type-A people make the worst patients. Encourage your boss to embrace laziness like many of us do in our daily lives.
How to Say ‘Get Well Soon’ to Your Boss’s Partner or Family Members
Sometimes your boss may be out of the office for a family member’s surgery or illness. Even if your boss isn’t the sick one, they need encouragement and support. Here are some ideas on how to help.
11. Ask how you can help
A friend or family member will often say to a person in crisis, “let me know how I can help.” This is often said out of politeness, but there may be no intention to follow through.
If your boss is going through a personal struggle, suggest ways that you would be willing to help. Offer to take care of an incomplete report at work, or recommend that you speak on your boss’s behalf at a meeting. Do so in a non-threatening way. Your boss doesn’t want you gunning for the leadership role while things are a mess at home.
12. Provide meals for the family
If there are children at home, organize a meal train for the family, and encourage people to provide nutritious meals. It’s stressful seeing a family member struggle with their health, and eating junk exacerbates that stress and feelings of unease.
13. “I am so sorry you are going through this difficult time. Cindy is a delightful woman, and we are all pulling for her to make a full recovery.”
Your boss will surely appreciate this simple, heartfelt message. People like hearing compliments about their family members, especially if the family member faces an uncertain future.
14. Organize a run/walk to raise money for a cause
If your boss’ child is undergoing treatment for cancer, consider organizing a team from work to walk in honor of the child. Name the team after the kid, and create a T-shirt for all the participants.
15. Share a poignant quote
Perhaps your boss needs reassurance that they should be spending time with family. Consider sharing this quote from former first lady Barbara Bush: “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.”
Funny ‘Get Well Soon’ Messages to Share With Your Boss
If you’re lucky, you have a special relationship with your boss that allows you to joke around and laugh. If your boss appreciates your sense of humor, consider using it when sending a get well message.
16. “We knew that you weren’t looking forward to the next stockholder’s meeting, but breaking your leg to avoid it was pretty extreme.”
Of course, fill in the blanks to make this phrase appropriate to your boss’ situation. Perhaps your boss is a principal avoiding a fourth-grade recorder program. Or maybe your boss is a software developer whose illness made them miss a product launch.
17. “Get well soon because I’m sick of doing all your work, and the rest of the people in our office are stupid.”
Does your boss appreciate straightforward humor? Use this quote only if your boss appreciates dry humor.
18. “Is this a good time to ask for a raise?”
Perhaps your boss will enjoy the absurdity of this statement. Of course, only send such a message if the illness or injury is non-life-threatening.
19. Send your boss a goofy coloring book for adults along with colored pencils
If your boss will be in recovery for quite a while, look for goofy, grown-up coloring books. There are plenty to choose from, including those featuring Bill Murray or the people of Wal-Mart.
20. “Please get well soon. If you don’t, I’ll feel guilted into visiting you in the hospital, and I hate those places. They smell like death.”
Maybe this is saying is over the top, but it hopefully will make your boss laugh.
Advice for Sending Messages to Your Boss
Finding the right tone to use with your boss may be difficult. You may feel as if they’re your friend, but the friendship is complicated if the person is in charge of your employment.
Being too familiar with someone you work with may bring trouble, but at the same time, you don’t want to be viewed as cold or uncaring.
Look for other articles about communicating with your boss, such as writing thank-you notes to your boss or sending a condolence email to your boss. These articles offer excellent guidance on how to achieve that perfect tone.