How To Write a Letter to Your Boss About Concerns (With Template)
Updated July 24, 2023
If you have concerns about your job, company or clients, you might consider writing a letter to your supervisor, HR representative or manager. The idea of sending this type of letter might make some professionals nervous. However, composing a letter that clearly explains your concerns can help company leaders become aware of the issues you've noticed and take proactive steps to solve them.
In this article, we discuss when to write to your boss or supervisor about your concerns, explain how to write this letter in eight steps and provide a template and example letter to help you craft your own.
When should you write a letter to your supervisor about your concerns?
If you have concerns about your job or company, consider the specific issue carefully before sending a letter to your supervisor or manager. Here are some factors that may help you decide when to send a letter to your supervisor about your workplace concerns:
Severity of the concern: Try to only bring your concerns up to your manager if they involve larger or more problematic issues. For example, while a coworker being late to work once may not be worth a letter to your supervisor, a coworker repeatedly arriving tardy without explanation could be of greater concern to your team or company.
Effects of the issue: Think about how the issue has affected or could affect your colleagues, company leaders or clients. If an issue can or already has impacted either employees or customers, it may be a good idea to bring the situation up to your supervisor.
Steps already taken to resolve the situation: While employees can solve some workplace challenges without involving a manager, others require someone in a supervisory role to intervene. If you've already tried to fix the situation or it's not within your power to fix it, it might be time to involve your supervisor.
Related: Business Letter Format and Example
How to write a letter to your boss about concerns
Here is how to write a letter to your boss about your concerns in eight steps:
1. Write a formal introduction
Begin your letter with a professional salutation, or greeting, such as "Dear." If you're writing an email, make sure to write the email from your company account and choose an appropriate subject line that indicates your intentions for writing this email. If you're composing a letter, include your contact information in a header at the top left of the letter.
2. State your primary concerns
Summarize your chief concerns in one to two sentences. State your concerns directly but professionally. Focus on the objective facts rather than on how you feel about the situation.
3. Explain the effects
Describe how your concerns have affected or could affect your team, company or clients. This part of your letter helps your supervisor to understand the importance of addressing the concerns in your letter. For example, if you're worried about your coworkers ignoring government regulations, explain that you're concerned about coworkers becoming physically injured or the company receiving a lawsuit.
4. Include examples
Provide examples of your concerns. Describe specific instances of when you've seen the issue occur or specific moments when those issues affected your company or clients. Do your best to explain the examples in chronological order so that your supervisor can understand the sequence of events that's compelled you to write this letter.
5. Suggest ideas for improvements
Provide at least one suggestion for how to improve the issue. Even if your supervisor ultimately doesn't listen to your suggestions, providing these suggestions shows that you're taking a proactive approach to help your company solve this problem rather than simply complaining. For example, if you're concerned about a coworker making inappropriate remarks or jokes, you might suggest to your supervisor that your company consider offering diversity training sessions.
6. Attach supporting documents
If possible, attach supporting documents to your email or include them in the envelope with your letter. Although sometimes you may not have any documentation related to your concerns, be sure to include those documents if they do exist and you have access to them. Depending on the situation, supporting documents could include emails, reports, timesheets or phone records.
7. Conclude your letter
Conclude your letter by thanking your supervisor for their time. Let them know that you're available to discuss the issues further or answer questions. Use a professional signature, such as "Sincerely," followed by your full name. If you're writing an email, include your contact information below your signature.
Read more: How To End an Email (With Closing Examples)
8. Edit and proofread
Edit your letter before you send it to your supervisor. Make sure that the content is as clear and brief as possible while remaining professional. Proofread for any slight mistakes, such as grammar errors or typos.
Tips for writing a letter about concerns
Here's some advice for composing a letter to your manager about your concerns:
Consider who should receive your letter
Before you write your letter, decide who the recipient of your letter should be. Be sure to check your company's handbook to see if there is a designated policy for discussing concerns, such as reaching out to your immediate supervisor or an HR representative. If you can't find this policy, think about who may have the ability to help you with this problem or who can direct you to the correct person. For example, if you're generally supposed to ask questions of your department head before approaching someone else, send your message to them.
Be calm when you write your letter
Compose your letter when you're feeling calm and content. Although you may have strong emotions about these concerns, it's important to try to reduce the emotions in your letter. The focus of your message should be not on how the workplace issues make you feel, but on what exactly the issues are and how they have or might negatively affect your company. Emphasizing the facts and outcomes as neutrally as possible can help your supervisor to understand the importance of this issue and the need for them to take action.
Use a professional tone
Keep the tone of your letter professional. This means explaining your concerns with direct language that is also concise and polite. It may help you to read the letter aloud as you're editing to see if it sounds professional.
Template for a letter to your manager with your concerns
Here is a template you can use when writing to your supervisor about your concerns:
[Your contact information if a letter or subject line for an email]
Dear [Name of recipient],
[Start with one or two sentences summarizing your concerns. Then, explain how these concerns have affected your company or how you fear these concerns might affect your company.]
[Offer specific examples of the issue occurring in the workplace and include any effects that have resulted from these concerns.]
[Add suggestions for how your supervisor could improve this issue.]
[Thank your supervisor for reading your letter. Let them know that they can contact you for further discussion. If applicable, mention and briefly explain any supporting documents you've included.]
[Additional contact information]
To upload the template into Google Docs, go to File > Open > and select the correct downloaded file.
Related: Q&A: Why Is Communication Important?
Sample letter about concerns
Here is an example of a letter to a supervisor about workplace concerns to help you write your own:
Subject: Concerns regarding my colleague's job performance
Dear Ms. Thompson,
I'm writing to you because of my growing concerns regarding the performance of our new customer service representative, Marvin Burke. Although Marvin is a positive and welcome part of the office, he struggles to effectively conduct some of his responsibilities. His poor performance has caused us to lose two clients within the last month. I fear that number might only increase if his methods do not improve.
A month ago, Marvin neglected to handle a customer query, which eventually resulted in our company losing that client. Last week, we lost another client after Marvin did not direct that client to the proper resources or reach out to a coworker about the best way to address the customer's concern.
I believe Marvin would benefit greatly from additional customer service training sessions that explain very clearly our company's protocols and solutions for various customer concerns. While I don't personally work in his department, I'd be happy to be available to answer his questions or help him find another employee who can help.
I appreciate you taking the time to read this letter. Please email me back if you have questions or if I can be of any further help on this topic. For your convenience, I've attached the public review posted online by the client whom we lost last month.
Andrea K. Shue
Explore more articles
- How To Unpivot Data in Excel (3 Different Ways)
- 20 Essential Skills Every Project Manager Should Have
- Pros and Cons of Implementing a Divisional Structure
- How To Create a Fillable Form in Google Docs (With Tips)
- 19 Types of Research (With Definitions and Examples)
- 35 Retreat Activities to Motivate and Connect Employees
- 15 Types of Professional Soft Skills (With Definitions)
- How To Turn off Paragraph Marks in Word in 3 Methods
- What Is a Project Status? Definition and Key Terms
- List of Associate Degrees (Plus Popular Careers)
- 15 Service Business Examples
- AIDA Model for Marketing: Definition, Use and Example