Example Letter #1
Because I know you do a great deal to help the members of my section, I feel I can turn to you with a matter that has caused us much personal frustration and even more wasted time. For several weeks now, the Vice President's secretary has been sending people to do his copying on our machine. We want to cooperate, but sometimes they occupy the machine for two or three hours, making our own people wait. At this rate we are falling behind in our own work, and our production figures are suffering.
Would it be possible for the Company to buy another copy machine, either for our use, or for the vice president's projects? I suppose his secretary could send people to other offices, but it would simply mean transferring the problem to someone else. I think another machine would be the best solution for all concerned.
I know my staff would sincerely appreciate being able to use their time more efficiently. I look forward to your response so I can tell them what to expect.
Example Letter #2
I am writing in behalf of several employees who have expressed concern over the problems we have had in receiving our checks on the last day of the month. Of course all of us have financial obligations we must meet on a regular basis, so we count on getting paid on that day. The delays during the past months have caused a great deal of frustration, and I fear that employee morale is suffering. Some even fear that the company will not stay in business long.
It would be very helpful if someone could explain what has delayed check preparation, and otherwise allay the fears that many have. I wonder if, in addition, it might be possible to begin printing checks a few days earlier to allow for problems that may come up.
I assured my group that you would be responsive to their concerns. I'll let them know what to expect as soon as I hear from you. Thank you for your consideration.
Example Letter #3
I appreciate the policy that permits employees to eat at their workstations, but recently I have noticed other shifts leaving their leaky paper cups and used sandwich wrappers on our desks. Could you possibly help us by asking employees in each shift to clean up after themselves so the next shift doesn't have to do it? I think we would all feel better if everyone would be a little more considerate. We appreciate your efforts to help us do our work better. Thanks.
Example Letter #4
Thank you for hiring a receptionist to answer phones and handle occasional typing assignments; unfortunately, neither task is being done satisfactorily. Apparently, he is unaware of the full scope of his assignment. If you allow, I would be willing to train him and monitor his performance. If this is agreeable to you, please let me know and tell him what I'll be doing, so I don't offend him. Thank you.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
Be direct but respectful. State the problem clearly and briefly, without blaming anyone directly. Show how the company or institution is adversely affected. Using passive sentences that omit reference to those responsible may soften any accusing tone.
Offer a solution to the problem, even though you may not have authority to enforce it. If you offer alternative solutions, indicate which solution you prefer. Explain why you prefer one solution over another.
Ask for a response so your superior will understand that you genuinely want to effect a change.