Encourage an Employee After a Disappointment or a Company Setback | Letter-Writing Guide


Encouragement is most needed after a disappointment or setback, and written encouragement can be very powerful in these circumstances. It gives the reader something to keep, share, and review. Keep the tone positive, focusing on what has been or can be achieved. Avoid direct or implied criticism.


1. Mention the disappointment the reader is facing.

  • As you may know, we have just finished our third straight losing quarter. This concerns all of us.
  • As you are all aware, these last six months without the Doe account have been rough.
  • I have just learned that you and Jane are getting divorced.
  • I thought your design was especially innovative, but John's was more in line with what the client had in mind.
  • I share your disappointment over your grades this semester. They do not reflect your capabilities. That bout with the flu certainly came at the wrong time.
  • I know you have been discouraged by the negative attitudes of many of the staff members as you have tried to consolidate the division.
  • after all your hard work
  • do not reflect your
  • gave it a good try
  • getting quite discouraged
  • has been very discouraged
  • has been rough for
  • have just learned
  • having a hard time
  • is of great concern to
  • is very difficult
  • most unfortunate timing
  • share your disappointment
  • very disappointing for
  • was saddened to hear
  • was so sorry to
  • was most unfortunate
  • were very eager to
  • were expecting to
  • worked so hard
  • you were affected by

2. Explain why the reader can feel optimistic.

  • Our television advertising campaign is starting to pay off, however, and the situation is already improving. If you examine the figures month by month, you will see that we are already recovering and can expect to turn a substantial profit next quarter.
  • With your experience and talents, Doe's loss is certainly going to be some other company's gain. Or is this your opportunity to change your career? I know you were thinking about going into consulting.
  • Without knowing the ins and outs of the situation, I just want you to know that I treasure my friendship with you, and would be glad to do anything I can to help you through this difficult time. You have many friends who care very deeply about you.
  • It looks as though things are turning around. The Doe building has been sold to another electronics manufacturing company, and there is every reason to suppose that you will be able to pick up that account.
  • It's heartening to see how we are recovering. We are not quite back to where we were before we lost the Doe account, but the new accounts that John and Jane have brought in have helped a lot. With your continued efforts, I am sure we will see our prospects improve.
  • Don't be too discouraged. Both Jane and I are aware of your hard work. You are off to a promising start here at Doe's, and will have many other opportunities to show what you can do.
  • People tend to cling to the status quo, but I believe you will find things going more smoothly now. Several of your co-workers have commented that their jobs are becoming easier since you took over.
  • We are already seeing significant improvement in the situation. Jane tells me you have a good understanding of the problems the division faces and will be able to finalize the reorganization by the end of the month.
  • can already see
  • can confidently expect
  • every reason to suppose
  • forecasts are looking positive
  • glad to help
  • in the long run
  • is heartening to see
  • is simply a question of
  • is starting to
  • is an opportunity to
  • jump over this hurdle
  • many other opportunities
  • no reason to give up
  • please rest assured that
  • things will go more smoothly
  • want you to know that
  • will turn around soon
  • will certainly pay off
  • with your talent
  • with everything you have going for you
  • with continued effort

3. Express confidence that the reader will be overcome the challenges, and end on a positive note.

  • Of course we'll have to work hard for these positive trends to continue. We have a great team and I know we can do it.
  • In any case, I have no doubt that you have a bright future.
  • Suzanne and I hope you will be able to join us for dinner soon. I'll call you early next week to arrange a time.
  • With your talents and positive attitude, you will surely be on top of things again very soon.
  • We are delighted that you all worked through the dry spell with us and are glad you are with us now that the future looks promising.
  • I have great confidence in your ability to overcome this obstacle.
  • I am looking forward to having you in my department. I am sure that you will continue to be a great asset to the company.
  • You have every reason to be pleased with the progress you have made so far. I know I am.
  • I have every confidence you will finish this project with your usual grace.
  • I admire the perseverance you have shown in the face of these difficulties. Don't worry, you are doing fine!
  • a successful conclusion
  • a bright future
  • am confident that
  • am sure that
  • an asset to the company
  • are delighted that
  • best wishes
  • continues to impress me
  • future looks promising
  • have every reason to
  • have no doubt that
  • have a great team
  • have great confidence in
  • have my confidence and esteem
  • is worth persevering
  • results will be worthwhile
  • will call you
  • will be able to
  • will continue to be
  • will overcome this
  • your ability to

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