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I'm a software engineer and recently I've been working on a remote team's package to integrate it with a project I've been assigned to. It's really difficult to ramp up on and pretty impenetrable to learn.

There is one person in particular on that team who has gone above and beyond in terms of support. He provides really helpful comments on code reviews, answers my questions quickly, and has generally been a pleasure to work with. For context, we're all in the same company.

He is however outside of the country. So while normally I might buy someone like this a small gift and thank them in person to show my gratitude, I was going to write an email to his manager commending him on being so knowledgeable and helpful. Is there anything else I could do, though? I feel gracious he's taken so much of his time to help when he didn't technically "need to" and I'd like to express that appreciation.

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    Copy him on the email to his manager. There's really nothing more to be done. Sending a gift, while a nice gesture, might be awkward for your colleague. – joeqwerty Jun 8 at 2:57
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I was going to write an email to his manager commending him on being so knowledgeable and helpful. Is there anything else I could do, though?

I wouldn't give an actual gift - these days there's various rules around what is and isn't appropriate on those lines, and it can make the employee in question feel like he has to reciprocate.

Some companies have internal reward schemes where you can obtain a token gesture on the company for going above and beyond (often a small online gift voucher, a free meal at the canteen, that sort of thing.) You could ask his manager if such a scheme exists, and recommend him for that reward if it does.

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Separate emails to your colleague and his/her manager are good -- phone calls may be better. Make your communication stand out against the noise of day-to-day work.

Given the default mode of communication seems to be email in most companies -- a phone call could go a lot further. Make a 5-minute call to your colleague (at a time that is good for them) and express your gratitude. Make a similarly brief call to their manager to make them aware of the difference your colleague made in your experience.

It could be as simple as: "Hello. I'm calling because it's important you're aware of how much having _____ on the team made a difference."

I personally wouldn't send an email to your colleague cc'ing their manager - to me it seems transactional and contrived.

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