How to Communicate Delay in Salary Payment to Employees via Email

Electronic media might be a good avenue to communicate personally to each employee about a delay in the payment of their salaries. This is because each person is reached and also the tension and apprehension that comes from physical communication experience are avoided.

Communicating the reason for a delay in salary to employees is crucial as it helps to clear assumptions, fears and any other wrong information which might affect the productivity of the employees. How this message is passed across is also vital. You can either win more the loyalty of your employees through this medium, stirring them up for greater productivity or you can lose their respect and loyalty by being silent; though they are still always available at work on resumption time, and appear to be working without complaints.

Tips for Communicating Delay in Salary to Employees

Late payment of wages is a serious indication of financial troubles a company might be facing. This is why admitting the delay could be quite challenging for some business owners. However, not communicating with employees does more damage than being vocal on this issue.

It is better to inform employees when a business owner envisages a salary delay or if the wages have been delayed for a while though it was not foreseen in the first place. Taking the necessary steps on time helps to minimize complaints and lackadaisical attitude towards work on the part of the labor force.

In cases like this, when sending an email, an employer of labor needs to strike a balance between being open, which is required, and being discreet with information. It is important to note that an open management encourages loyalty among workers. The employees will always want to know why their salaries are delayed.

You can choose to disclose this or not. In sending a mail of this nature, there are certain things to bear in mind;

Clear Anxieties

You need to communicate to clear fears and doubt that may arise as a result of the delay. Some of your employees may be breadwinners in their homes, and may already have come under intense pressure to provide for the family.

If they remain ignorant of the circumstances around the delay, they will be more anxious, especially since they have no explanation for their dependents. Others may be banking on the salary to fund projects or use for education. For most employees, a lot is at stake. Therefore, there is need to allay anxieties and fears early.

Confidence in the Leadership

You need to communicate to birth confidence in the leadership of the organization and the way the company is being managed. Some employees, especially the high-value ones, may lose confidence and consider quitting their jobs.

The high-value employees are those whose skills are in high demand in your company’s area of expertise. Their skills are vital to the productivity of your company; therefore you do not want to lose them to competitors. Besides, no one wants to be part of are failing organization if they have the opportunity of getting another job offer.

You need to show this set of employees and others that you are capable of steering the company to safety by ensuring that their salaries are paid soonest. Your employees need to know you are on top of the situation, and you really should be. Be honest and discreet if the situation is proving tougher than you can handle.

Restate the Vision

You need to restate the vision and goals of the company in a subtle way to encourage the employees and gear them up for the task ahead. This will help them keep the focus on the job as well as show them the need to keep moving forward despite the salary delay.

Be Open

Be open to suggestions on how to get the company out of the challenges that led to the salary delay. Some employees may have ideas that can salvage the situation(s), give them a chance. However, be careful to go for only practicable suggestions. The fact that you are open to ideas tells the employees that you honestly want to solve the problem as soon as possible and that the delay is not your wish.

Empathize with Them

You need to show empathy. Let them know you feel their pain. Indifference could mean you do not care about your employees’ welfare.

It’s all about Them

The most important thing in the body of your mail should focus on the employees. They should be aware that you understand the challenges they are or might be facing as a result of the delay. This would have an effect by calming their fears.

Reassurance and Other OptionsReassurrance email

Let your employees know that you are doing all you can to get their wages to them as soon as you can. If it is not soon enough, you may have to explain why. You also may have to see if there is any temporary welfare package that can be put in place to alleviate any difficulties they might be facing as a result of salary delay.

Avoid Promises, Be Confident

You do not have to make promises in your mail; neither should you let uncertainty about how and when the salary will be paid to be obvious in your mail. Most employees may conclude on their future in the organization when the matter of their salaries is served to them on a platter of uncertainty.

Sample Email for Communicating Delay in Salary to Employees


We will like to apologize for the delay in your salary payment. We are sorry for the inconveniences and undue financial burden this might have caused you.

Wendy’s Dairy Foods is a family and we are aware there might be certain difficulties brought about by this delay. Please feel free to pick up the welfare package we have for everyone on Fridays. We have put this in place as a temporary measure to relieve the team.

Wendy’s Dairy Food is a company committed to bringing about the best quality dairy products to the market. We cannot do this without you.

We are doing all we can to ensure that the money the state government owes the company last month is remitted soonest. We strongly believe this minor setback will be over in a short while. Please do bear with us.

Thanks for your understanding.

Signed; Management.

Dr. Kelechi Duru
Dr. Kelechi Duru
Dr. Kelechi Duru is a physician with a keen interest in healthcare administration and business management. And yes, he rather writes about business than the latest clinical trials. He enjoys building castles in the air with his wife (they currently live in one) and has a wild fascination for nature.

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