Tutorial for “Offer a Suggestion to a Subordinate”

Tips

You may direct this letter to one or several persons to suggest a course of action. It is not a directive or a reminder of a policy. If you write it as a suggestion, you must be willing to let the reader make the final decision.

Steps

1. Give any needed background information for the reader to understand your suggestion.

Sentences

  • Several production editors have informed me that for the past year you have proved to be a valuable copy editor. They indicated you have handled several manuscripts at the same time, and have continually produced quality work.
  • I recently learned that you are considering part-time evening work in addition to your job here at Doe Incorporated. Frankly, I was surprised, and I fear that we have failed you somehow.
  • The city's clean air campaign is well under way. We at Doe Automotive want to contribute to the effort by making our air cleaner.
  • This is to advise you that Doe Corporation has added a counseling service to its employee assistance program. Employees can now receive professional counseling at a fraction of the usual cost.
  • Managing a group at Doe Corporation is a challenging assignment for anyone. Even the most experienced find that "learning the ropes" takes time, so it is not surprising that you are considering submitting your resignation.

Phrases

  • a challenging assignment for anyone
  • all employees are encouraged to participate in
  • another benefit offered to employees
  • at a fraction of the usual cost
  • bring this situation to light
  • can now receive
  • difficult assignment for any
  • even the most experienced find
  • feared that we had failed you somehow
  • have indicated you have handled
  • have continually produced quality work
  • have proved to be
  • have considered submitting your resignation
  • I was surprised to learn that
  • in addition to your career here
  • indicating you are considering
  • is well under way
  • it is not surprising that
  • know there are problems
  • over the past year
  • received a request
  • recently learned that you are considering
  • several developers have informed me
  • want you to know
  • want to contribute to the effort

2. Briefly explain your suggestion.

Sentences

  • Because you have shown a desire to excel and because we are always looking for editors with potential, I thought a few suggestions might help you maximize your skills:
    1. Become more familiar with The Chicago Manual of Style. You may also want to consider reading Strunk and White's Elements of Style.
    2. Watch out for sexist language. Don't let it slip through. You might consider investing in a handbook that suggests alternatives for politically incorrect words and phrases.
  • I hope you understand that moonlighting may hinder your potential career advancement at Doe's. Before moving forward with your plans for a part-time job, I suggest you reevaluate the long-term pros and cons of such a move.
  • In an effort to improve the quality of our environment, we encourage all employees to participate in company car pools.
  • If you think counseling would be helpful, I suggest that you investigate our new counseling services.
  • I suggest that you not act too hastily; it may be worthwhile to reconsider your decision in light of future opportunities.

Phrases

  • always looking for editors with potential
  • because you have shown a desire to excel
  • become more familiar with
  • before moving forward with your plans
  • do not let it slip through
  • encourage all employees
  • give you alternatives for
  • help you maximize your skills
  • if you think they would be helpful
  • if you have not thought about this option before
  • if you put the same energy, time, and effort
  • improve the quality of
  • in an effort to
  • in light of future opportunities
  • may be worthwhile to reconsider your decision
  • may hinder your potential career advancement
  • may also want to consider
  • might consider investing in
  • suggest that you not act too hastily
  • suggest looking into
  • suggest you reevaluate
  • the long-term pros and cons
  • thought a few suggestions might
  • to participate in
  • using these services would in no way reflect negatively on
  • watch out for

3. Describe the benefits of following your suggestion.

Sentences

  • By following these suggestions, you will enhance your skills as a copy editor and become more valuable to the company.
  • Although other employees have attempted part-time work, I know of none who have succeeded. In making your decision, compare the little money you would make at the part-time job with the career growth possibilities and salary increases our company can provide.
  • Car pooling can provide a relaxing ride to work. In addition, you save half of what you usually spend on fuel and car maintenance. Car pools also reduce pollution, allow co-workers to get to know each other better, and relieve you from driving so often.
  • The new counseling services are provided on a sliding-fee scale. All information discussed is maintained in strict confidence, so using these services would in no way reflect on your work.
  • After putting in the time needed to really feel comfortable, new managers often find themselves responding with enthusiasm to their daily challenges.

Phrases

  • after putting in the time needed to
  • all information discussed
  • although other employees have attempted
  • another benefit would be
  • by following these suggestions
  • clean, safe alternative
  • co-workers get to know each other better
  • failure to follow this policy
  • get it for half of what you already spend
  • in making your decision
  • know of none who have succeeded
  • long-term benefits would include
  • maintained in strict confidence
  • make yourself invaluable to the company
  • might be able to help
  • might solve the problem
  • new counseling services are provided on
  • no way reflect on your work
  • responding with enthusiasm to their daily challenges
  • salary increases with the company
  • what do you have to lose
  • will enhance your skills
  • with the possibilities of career growth

4. Supply any information needed to take action on your suggestion, such as steps to follow, who to contact and how, and where to sign up.

Sentences

  • Please let me know your decision by the end of the week.
  • Car pool and ride-share lists are available at the front desk. If you want to participate, call Jane Doe, ext. 555.
  • Attached is information on the counseling services, including how to make an appointment.
  • After thinking it over, please see me to discuss the matter at your earliest convenience.
  • Give me a call in a few days. I would like to meet with you and hear your thoughts on the matter.

Phrases

  • after thinking it over
  • at your earliest convenience
  • attached is information on
  • contact the Human Resource Division
  • contact her for additional information
  • for additional details
  • give me a call in a few days
  • happy to offer my help
  • if you want to participate in any way
  • if I can be of further assistance
  • if you are interested in this option
  • including how to make an appointment
  • investigate the benefits of
  • like to meet with you
  • lists are available at
  • please see me to discuss the matter
  • please let me know by the end of the week
  • see how you feel about this
  • what you decide to do
  • will work with you

5. Close with a few remarks about your suggestion, without placing undue pressure.

Sentences

  • I hope you will read my memo as complimentary. I am impressed with your abilities and have no doubt that you can soon be one of our top copy editors.
  • I hope you will seriously consider my suggestion.
  • Join a car pool today! You will be glad you did. It's a convenient alternative to the daily hassle of driving to and from work.
  • Look over the information and if you think you could benefit from the services, contact the employee assistance office.
  • I hope you decide to stay in the position. You will soon find that being a manager has many rewards.

Phrases

  • am impressed with your abilities
  • being a manager has many rewards
  • can soon be one of our top
  • employees are our first concern
  • find the best solution to the problem
  • hope you will see this memo
  • hope you decide to stay in the position
  • hope you will seriously consider my suggestion
  • if I can be of further assistance
  • look over the information
  • please forward any suggestions
  • strongly believe it would benefit
  • suggest that you join today
  • thank you for your cooperation
  • the compliment that it is
  • the above suggestions
  • think you could benefit from the services
  • what do you think of the idea
  • will soon find that
  • would appreciate your comments on

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