Issue Directives to Establish, Change or Reaffirm Policies • Example Letters, Plus Guides and Samples
Policies establish general guidelines for handling various situations. Deviation from these can cause far-reaching disruptions within the organization. Thus, the directive must be clear and precise, to avoid misunderstandings.
How to write this directive letter:
- Identify the problem which has made the directive necessary.
- State, summarize, or enclose a copy of the policy. Itemize the essential elements, if appropriate.
- Close by expressing appreciation and reiterating the importance of the information you have conveyed. Offer to respond to questions and problems.
Example Letter #1
It has been two years since our office building was designated "smoke free," and we appreciate your compliance with that directive. Our recent personnel questionnaire revealed that a majority of our workers want to extend the smoke-free zone to the loading docks.
Please consider this memo as our official declaration of policy to reaffirm the company's smoke-free zone in the office building, and to extend that zone to include the loading docks. Alternative sites for smokers are indicated on the attached map. You will note that with the exception of the loading docks, the areas are the same, with the addition of one place near the drying ponds. We appreciate your cooperation in making our workplace pleasant for everyone.
Example Letter #2
Doe Corporation established an Internet connection for all its employees to facilitate communication between employees and divisions no matter how far-flung. Unfortunately, security has detected abuses. To reiterate our Internet policy: The company Internet connection is for company use only. Personal use of any kind is not authorized. Any employee caught using it for personal use is subject to discipline.
Example Letter #3
In response to several recent unauthorized charges on the company expense accounts, I would direct your attention to section 7 of the Doe Sales Handbook. This section outlines our policy on charging purchases to the company.
Please note that all charges must be accountable to approved sales proposals. The majority of the charges our staff has made are legitimate, and I suspect that a lack of awareness of the policy accounts for many of the rest. Please pay special attention to this policy and contact me if you have any questions.
Example Letter #4
We are concerned about the number of incidents being reported just after shift changeovers, with no one taking responsibility for them. It is therefore necessary for us to change our handover procedure. Starting on May 1, please do the following:
We hope this new procedure will solve the problems. We will appreciate your cooperation as we implement it. If you have questions or concerns, please call me.
Example Letter #5
It has come to my attention that some employees are moving in and out of the "clean" areas of the surgical wing of the hospital without removing and replacing their overshoes and sterile gowns. Hospital policy is very clear on this point. Every time you step over the red line to enter the surgical area, you must take all the required aseptic measures, as outlined in the notices in these areas. Failure to do so endangers our patients and cannot be tolerated.
I am aware that most employees unfailingly abide by these regulations, and am confident that compliance with this very important policy will once again become universal. If you have any questions about the policy, please speak to your supervisor.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Identify the problem which has made the directive necessary.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- At Doe's we take pride in the service we provide for our clients. We need to look and act like the professionals we are.
- As you are aware, the company has received some unflattering publicity recently. The media has distorted comments made by several employees.
- This company's policy has always been to consider education and/or training, experience, and job performance in hiring and advancement decisions. Considerations of race and gender do not enter the picture. In recent months, however, questions have arisen about race and gender quotas.
- I would like to remind you that Doe Corporation is an equal opportunity employer.
- In a manufacturing company like Doe Corporation, where moving machinery and equipment makes alertness essential, the use of drugs and/or alcohol creates danger for everyone. In the last two months several employees have been injured due to drug use either on or off the company property.
- A recent study of company phone use reveals a number of abuses that need to be corrected.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- a recent study
- appears to be a misunderstanding
- are concerned about
- are of major concern to
- as you are aware
- company policy is
- find it necessary to
- has become necessary to
- has come to my attention
- has been some uncertainty about
- have occurred recently
- have expressed concern that
- our policy has always been to
- problems have arisen
- questions have arisen
- several breaches of
- take pride in
- the policy of this company is
- the events of recent
- we need to
- would like to remind you that
2 State, summarize, or enclose a copy of the policy. Itemize the essential elements, if appropriate.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- We request that all employees adhere to the following dress and grooming policy:
- From now on, the following policies will be in effect:
1. Do not respond to any questions from reporters. Media Relations will handle all queries from the press and issue statements representing our position.
2. If any reporters persist in annoying you, please call my office.
- Please be assured that our long-standing policy has not changed. We will continue to hire and promote according to ability and will not practice any racial or gender discrimination.
- Our policy with regard to hiring and promotion is outlined on page twelve of the Employee Handbook. Please read and adhere to the guidelines.
- Consequently, a zero-tolerance drug policy has been put into place. This means that you are subject to immediate termination and loss of all benefits if you are arrested for drunk driving, dealing in or possessing drugs, or if you test positive on a random drug test. Refusing to take the test or tampering with test instrumentation will also result in termination.
- You are welcome to make local, personal phone calls during your break time. Making personal calls on company time is not acceptable. In an emergency, consult your supervisor, who has the authority to make an exception.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- adhere to the
- are welcome to
- be assured that
- effective immediately
- from now on
- has been put into place
- in the future
- in order to qualify for
- is outlined in
- is essential that
- is not acceptable
- is an important part of
- must be arranged through
- need to be consistent with
- policy with regard to
- policy will be enforced from
- read and adhere to
- request that all
- well in advance
- will continue to
- will not accept
- will help us to
3 Close by expressing appreciation and reiterating the importance of the information you have conveyed. Offer to respond to questions and problems.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- Thank you for your help in maintaining a professional atmosphere in the office.
- You have witnessed the problems that arise when employees share their opinions with reporters. We are proud of our work force and the excellent way you carry out your assignments. Please keep up the good work, stick to this policy, and let Media Relations do its job.
- If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact my office immediately. We treat all allegations of discrimination seriously, and we will investigate.
- Drugs and alcohol create serious problems, not just for the users but for everyone. The zero-tolerance policy will make Doe Corporation a safer workplace. Call the personnel office if you have any questions.
- Most employees use the telephones with intelligence and good sense. However, those who abuse the phone system will be subject to disciplinary action.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- a safer workplace
- appreciate your cooperation
- are proud of
- confirm in writing that
- cooperation is essential
- expect that
- for your cooperation in this regard
- for your help in this matter
- for your assistance
- for your protection and safety
- for further information
- if you have any problems with
- if you need any
- if you have any questions
- if you believe that
- no further breaches of this kind
- please see to it that
- thank you for
- will be happy to
- will be more pleasant for all
- will be subject to