What is a promotion and why is it so important?
A job promotion entails an employee’s advancement in a job position or title. A job promotion is usually granted due to an employee’s impressive work performance and their efforts to work toward universal company goals. Promotions usually come with an increase in salary and benefits as well as additional responsibilities and duties.
Promoting employees usually means you’re succeeding at scaling your business. Additionally, the opportunity for career advancement via job promotions fosters a motivating work environment with healthy competition. Ultimately, job promotions can contribute to improved employee loyalty and lower employee turnover.
By first recognizing and appreciating your employee’s achievements and then rewarding them with job advancement, you’re securing your employee’s interest in continuing to work and advance within your company.
In this article, we cover why you should send a promotion letter, what it should include and when to send it. We also provide two employee promotion letter templates, one formal and one casual.
What is a letter of promotion and why should you send one?
A promotion letter goes beyond simply saying congratulations and instead represents the formal exchange of communications between your company and the employee receiving the promotion.
A well-written job promotion letter protects both you and your employee by clarifying all the details of the new position such as salary rate, date of promotion, line of authority involved, etc. It acts as a permanent record of communications to be referenced if any confusion should arise.
Depending on the size and structure of your company, an employee promotion letter is usually written by a hiring manager or human resources manager speaking on behalf of the managers or owners. Whoever crafts the promotion letter should be careful to add personalized elements, especially if using a template.
It’s important to note that a promotion letter is not to be confused with a promotion announcement, which is an email or a verbal announcement of a specific employee promotion intended to inform all other employees in the company.
A job promotion letter is a direct line of communication between the company and the employee being promoted. Its function is to extend congratulations to the employee and outline all the formal details involved in the promotion.
What to include in an employee promotion letter
There are several ways to write a job promotion letter, and while we provide templates for you below, it’s always a good idea to personalize your letter so the employee feels they’re truly being recognized for their hard work. The best way to ensure this sentiment is to open and close your letter with a heartfelt congratulations.
Once you’ve jotted down your congratulations, there are a few fundamental details that should be included in every job promotion letter. First, it’s necessary to include a brief acknowledgment of the new role the employee has been offered. Second, add a clear outline of the new reporting structure so there’s no confusion regarding the hierarchy of authority. Finally, and most importantly, an enthusiastic congratulations should be expressed for the employee’s job promotion achievement.
Below, we go into greater detail about the most important information to include in a job promotion letter and why.
1. Date the promotion will take effect
Let the employee know when the promotion takes effect so they can report promptly to a new supervisor or department.
If an employee is switching departments, it’s customary to send a copy of the job promotion letter to the manager of each department. This takes the burden of calendar reminders off the newly promoted employee.
By clearly defining a date, everyone in the company affected by the promotion will have a clear understanding of when to expect the transition to take place.
2. Details about the new position
There are several key details to include in an employee promotion letter. First, it’s crucial to clearly define the new job position title. You can include some details regarding the new obligations and responsibilities of the job position. However, a job description is an optional feature of the letter. To avoid making the letter too long, most companies find it best to give a quick outline of responsibilities that can be expanded on at a later date in a different document.
Make sure to clearly outline the new or revised salary rate and, if applicable, the probationary period for updated benefits or any new salary payment details (for example, paid biweekly, weekly, monthly, etc.). It’s also important to include any additional benefits, bonuses, stock options, vacation days or other perks the new job title may include.
If the new job position requires the employee to move office locations or departments, that should also be clearly stated in the details section of the employee promotion letter.
3. The reporting structure of the new job position
Usually, when an employee receives a promotion, it means the reporting structure of the company may also shift. For this reason, it’s beneficial for both the employee being promoted and all other employees in the company to have a clear outline of the new employee hierarchy.
This section of the letter also provides an opportunity to expand on the reasons management selected this employee for job promotion, which helps heighten enthusiasm for the new position and boost confidence.
4. Any additional actions required
When sending an employee promotion letter, it’s optional to also include any formal documents outlining the promotion conditions, such as a new benefits package or salary structure. You may also request the employee to review and send back the documents with a signature of approval. While this isn’t a mandatory feature, it can be a helpful step in the employee transition between positions.
When to send a promotion letter
The best time to send an employee promotion letter is after the employee and their current manager have had a formal discussion and verbal agreement on the new job position.
While most job promotions are accepted with enthusiasm, it’s essential to avoid surprising an employee with a promotion letter. An employee should be given ample time to discuss the new role with their current manager, not only to make sure the job position is a good fit but also to ensure the job promotion aligns with their career goals.
An employee promotion letter may also be used as a proposal for a job promotion, functioning as the final stage of the promotion process. This gives the employee an opportunity to review all the details and confirm they’re interested in the new position.
Promotion letter templates
We provide two sample promotion templates below: a formal employee promotion letter and a casual employee promotion letter.
A formal letter makes sure to outline the details of the new job position in addition to any other helpful information regarding the promotion. Typically, more formal promotion letters are kept short and to the point. They may opt out of expressing in great detail the reasons an employee was chosen for a promotion, reserving this information for verbal interactions instead.
A more casual promotion letter gives the employer an opportunity to express in writing the main reasons an employee was chosen for a job promotion. Often, this conveys a higher degree of enthusiasm. However, a more casual employee promotion letter should include all the essential details listed above.
Whether you take a formal or a more casual approach, your letter should always maintain a professional and enthusiastic tone to ensure your employee feels recognized and appreciated.
Formal sample promotion letter
Subject: Congratulations on your promotion to [Job title]
Dear [Employee Name],
Congratulations on your promotion to [job title]. Your new position at the [department title/office location if applicable] will be effective [month, day, year].
You will report to [Manager Name], Director of [department name]. [He/She] looks forward to working with you and can be reached via email at [email address] or by phone at [phone number] if you have any questions.
As discussed, the annual salary for the position will be [salary amount] paid [pay intervals, such as biweekly]. We have attached your updated contract with new employment terms, including your benefits package. Please review and send us back a signed copy of all documents.
Again, congratulations on the new position. We look forward to your continued success at [Company Name].
[your full name and signature]
Casual sample promotion letter
Subject: Congratulations on your promotion to [Job title]!
Dear [Employee Name],
I am very pleased to inform you that management has decided to promote you to the position of [job title], effective [month, day, year], with an annual salary of [salary amount]. You will be under the supervision of [Manager Name], [department name].
After monitoring and evaluating your performance for the past [X amount of months or years] as [previous job title], we at [Company Name] appreciate your hard work and commitment and are thrilled to reward you for your efforts. It was unanimously decided to entrust you with higher responsibilities based on your effectiveness and efficiency in the performance of your work.
We have attached your updated contract with new employment terms for your review. Please feel free to contact me by email at [email address] or by phone at [phone number] if you have any questions at all.
We very much appreciate your hard work and commitment to the [Company Name] team for the past [X amount of months or years], and we’re all looking forward to seeing you achieve great things in your new role. Congratulations!
Kind regards/All the best,
[your full name and signature]