Give Advice to Subordinates • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Explain why you are writing and summarize the problem or situation.
2Give your advice, being as specific as possible.
3If appropriate, include evidence to convince the reader of your opinion.
4Make it easy for the reader to respond to your advice.


Keep your tone helpful and be careful of appearing judgmental. If the topic is a sensitive one, consider reordering your approach. For example, stating the problem first may put an employee on the defensive. If this is the case, outline the evidence and your advice before pointing out the problem.

Example Letter #1


Mr. Doe has commented to me several times in the last month about employees playing games on the computers. This is not an efficient use of company time, or of the new office network.

I know that the games are usually played while you are waiting for important information, but there is no excuse for playing computer games on company time. Therefore I must request that you avoid the games altogether while at work. I believe if we do this we will see a rise in productivity. Please call me in my office if you have feedback for me regarding this matter.

Example Letter #2


Our company policy requires employees to wear appropriate business attire during business hours. We recommend comfortable attire, including a dress shirt and tie for men and a skirt, dress, or nice slacks for women. Please omit tattered jeans and jogging shoes from your business wardrobe.

Example Letter #3


I would like to pass on the concern I feel regarding employees who consistently arrive late for work. While I realize that traffic in the morning is heavier due to highway construction, it is still important for staff to be in their offices ready to begin work at 9:00 a.m. I know that it may require extra effort, but punctuality is an important element of customer service.

We appreciate the dedication and hard work that all the members of our staff give, and hope that this problem can be nipped in the bud before it becomes serious. If you have suggestions regarding measures we can take as a company to ease the challenges caused by increased traffic problems, please bring them to our next staff meeting for discussion.

Example Letter #4


You have asked for my advice regarding the conflict and misunderstanding between you and John Doe. Differences in personality can create very strained relations in an office. I realize that you have tried to discuss your differences with John, without success.

I appreciate your concern and your efforts to resolve the problem. I plan to meet with John this afternoon to discuss the situation. Then, if I consider it appropriate, I will arrange a time when the three of us can get together, clear the air, and find a way for everyone to be able to work together.

Again, I want to express appreciation for your concern and your desire to establish a more congenial relationship. I will speak to you further about the matter after John and I have met.

Example Letter #5


I am rather concerned about the amount of time you are spending on private telephone calls during working hours. As you know, the company does not place arbitrary limits on private telephone use, but we do ask our employees to use their best judgment in such matters.

While you are at work, your time and attention should be focused on your job and used in the best interests of the company. Please keep private calls to a minimum, restricting them so far as possible to your lunch and break times.

If you have any questions regarding this, or would like to discuss the situation, please feel free to come talk with me.

Example Letter #6


Thank you for asking my advice relating to the problem with John Doe. I must agree that the situation is a difficult one.

I suggest that you start off by speaking to the entire group about the problem without singling out one individual. If that has the desired result, you need take no further action, but if Mr. Doe persists in this behavior, you will then be able to speak to him privately, reminding him of what you said previously. This way, you will still have the option of using the grievance process later if it becomes necessary, but you will have at least tried to minimize confrontation between the coworkers. In any case, I am confident that you will be able to handle the problem with tact and diplomacy!

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step


Explain why you are writing and summarize the problem or situation.

Example Sentences for Step 1

Example Phrases for Step 1


Give your advice, being as specific as possible.

Example Sentences for Step 2

Example Phrases for Step 2

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