No matter what your job is, you will need to correspond professionally with your boss, colleagues, team members, and/or employees throughout your career.
Sometimes this will involve sending a physical letter. At other times, it will only require a quick email.
Make sure you know the basic rules for sending polite and professional letters and emails. It’s always important to keep your correspondence focused on the topic you’re writing about. Carefully proofread and edit everything you send as well.
Check out the letter and email examples below. Use these as templates for starting your own messages, being sure to tailor them to the circumstances you’re writing about.
Tips for Writing Employee Emails and Letters
Decide on the right method. When deciding whether to send a physical letter or an email, think carefully about the situation. If time is of the essence (for example, if you have a family emergency and need to take the day off), email is likely the best choice. If time is not as important and you want to be official, you might send a formal business letter.
Send it to the right people. Think about who needs to receive your message. If you are quitting your job or firing someone, you might need to send the message not only to the specific person but also to someone in human resources. If you are sending a goodbye email to your coworkers, consider sending individual messages to each person.
Always be professional. Even if you are sending a quick message, make sure your tone is always polite and professional. Avoid unprofessional language (such as slang or abbreviations), emojis, and distracting fonts and formats. When the content of the message is business-related, use a businesslike tone.
Include an appropriate greeting and closing. Whether sending an email or letter, add a professional greeting that includes the person’s name. Also, include a closing and a polite signature. If it is an email, include an email signature with your contact information. If it is a written letter, include a handwritten signature.
Keep it brief. Keep your message as short as possible. You might include a brief introduction, such as, “I hope your day is going well.” Then, quickly dive into your reason for writing. Include only the essential information.
The message should be no longer than a brief paragraph or two (especially if it is an email). If you keep it short, the recipient will be more likely to read it.
Carefully edit and proofread. Always thoroughly proofread your message for spelling and grammar errors before sending it. Professional emails should always be clear and easy to read.
Email Message to Employees Format
The following is an example of the appropriate format for a business email written by a manager to a team at work. See below for examples of employee emails for a variety of circumstances.
Subject Line: Departmental Changes
Good morning. There are some exciting changes coming to our department that I wish to alert you to.
Due to ABC Inc.’s recent acquisition of XYZ Company, our executive management has decided that some restructuring of our department is in order so that our transition through this merger can be as seamless as possible.
This is, in general, very good news for all of us, for we will be onboarding ten new sales representatives – which will both relieve our current understaffing situation and prepare us for the heightened sales operations this merger is anticipated to trigger.
I am scheduling a staff meeting for tomorrow from 12 pm to 1 pm where I will outline the steps of this important transition; lunch will be provided. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time during the next few weeks with any questions or concerns.
Work-Related Letter and Email Samples
For a Job Well Done
It’s always a great feeling to deliver good news or congratulate colleagues on their successes. And, unlike in-person best wishes, a colleague can save a letter or email to look at later. With emails of appreciation, you can even copy managers and other colleagues to spread the good news. Here are a few examples to help you get the wording just right:
- Appreciation Email Messages
- Employee Thank You Letters
- Congratulations Note Examples
- Letters of Appreciation to Team Members
- Promotion Congratulations
- Thank You Letters for Team Members
For a Job Not So Well Done
If you have to deliver bad news, whether to a job applicant or an existing employee, these sample letters will help you frame your message.
When it comes to writing letters with bad news, don’t bury the message. Put the essential information in the first paragraph or even the first sentence of the letter (e.g., "Unfortunately, you did not get this job," or "Due to a downturn in orders, we are reducing all employees’ salaries by 10 percent"). Be direct and to the point in your wording. Recipients should be able to quickly absorb the news.
- Candidate Rejection Email Message
- Candidate Rejection Letter
- Salary Reduction Letter
- Termination Letter
Letters to Employers
If you’re applying for a new job, these examples should help you draft a well-worded request for a reference, an interview, and more. This list also includes ways to respond when a company makes you an offer:
- Letter of Interest Examples
- Confirm an Interview
- Say Thank You for an Interview
- Thank Prospective Team Members
- Accept a Job Offer
- Counteroffer Email Message
- Decline a Job Offer
For a Job Promotion or Transfer
Here’s help for when you’re trying to snag a new position within the company you work for, whether you want to get promoted or transfer to a different role or location:
- Job Promotion Cover Letter
- Job Transfer Request Letter
- Job Transfer Request Letter Example - Relocation
Letters to Job Applicants
Review these examples of letters and emails sent to candidates during the hiring process:
Welcome a New or Returning Employee
Whether you’re making an initial job offer or welcoming an employee back from an extended leave, here are some samples of what you might say. This kind of letter can really help set the tone for new (or returning) employees and make their transition into the workplace a smooth one.
Employee Request Letters
What do you want from your manager? More money? A permanent position? You’ll find the right words to ask in these sample letters:
- Ask for a Raise Letter
- Request for a Raise Email Message
- Salary Increase Letter
- Temp to Perm Cover Letter Example
Work From Home Requests
When you’re requesting to work from home on a regular or temporary basis, you need to convey exactly what you want, along with how this change can benefit the company. These examples show you how:
When You’ve Missed Work
Here are a few ways you can explain why you didn’t make it into the office, whether it’s due to a sick day, an emergency, or just sleeping through the alarm clock.
When You’re Leaving Your Job
These examples have you covered, from turning in your resignation to saying goodbye to your coworkers.
Remember: No matter how you feel about the company you’re leaving, be gracious and polite in your goodbye message.
When Your Employee Is Leaving
Here’s how to officially accept a resignation and write a reference for a former employee or colleague. We also show you how to verify that a current or former employee was employed by your company.
Emails and Letters for Difficult Situations
These examples should help when finding the right words is especially challenging:
- Apology for a Mistake Email
- Sympathy Letter
Focus on your letter. Everyone gets a lot of emails, so keep the messages you send focused and concise.
Keep it professional. When you’re writing business-related correspondence, always keep it professional, even if you know the recipient well.
Proofread and spell-check. Carefully proofread and spell-check all your letters and email messages before you click send.