When writing an email to your boss about a problem, there are some important guidelines you have to follow. Email remains one of the most effective ways of communicating in a professional environment.
It is a fast and effective way to communicate issues, concerns, or problems to your boss when you can’t meet and discuss them in person. With email, you can fully process and articulate your thoughts, so you can ensure you are covering all the relevant detail and sending the necessary documents.
It’s never a good idea to just dump your concerns and problems on your boss’s lap. Instead, approach the issue politely and professionally to get the best reaction and best engagement from them.
This blog post is going to cover some examples of how you can approach your boss via email.
Tips for Writing an Email to Your Boss About a Problem
1. Use a professional greeting
Some professional salutations you can use to greet your boss include “Dear”, “Hello” or “Hi” which is followed by your recipient (boss, superior, or supervisor). You can also use their first name if you are on a first-name basis. Otherwise, stick to a formal approach like “Prof. Kegley” or “Dr. Goldstein” or Mr. Mark. Then put a comma after your recipient's name. Write your boss's name in full and avoid using salutations like “Hey”, “Hiya” or “Yo” as this sounds unprofessional.
2. Use a specific and concise subject line.
Your boss is probably a busy person and has a lot of emails from other departments, clients, and business partners. Save them the time and energy and make the reason for your email extremely clear in the subject line. Always make sure your email content matches the subject line.
“issues about the Gizmo Software”, “Website down”, “complaint about our product”, “faulty machines”
3. Make sure to state the problem clearly and directly.
As said earlier, your boss is probably busy and has a lot of tasks on his/her hands. So you have to get straight to the point by stating the problem clearly and simply. You don't need too lengthy details, you can just give an overview of the problem you are having. You can briefly explain the problem and how it is affecting you or the organization. And if you have any solution in mind you can also suggest it in the email.
- “I have been having serious issues with the graphics design software for the past two days now and it is really affecting my output for the day. I have updated both the Adobe illustrator and photoshop and yet I am still experiencing same problem. So I am reaching out to you to know if there is any assistance you can provide.”
- “Our clients have been complaining about our Facebook and Instagram page going down almost everyday. The social media team is getting frustrated because they're not sure what to do to remedy the situation.”
4. Suggest a solution if you have one.
When you bring a problem to your boss's table, you can suggest a solution. Remember that your boss is a busy person and will appreciate it if you can come up with a solution. If you have already tried to solve this issue, but your idea didn't work, explain what you did to your boss. By doing this you are showing your boss that you are a problem solver and somebody who thinks about solutions instead of problems.
- “I’ve looked into the graphics design issue and its happening because the software no longer supports the version of my laptop. I am in the process of upgrading my laptop to the latest version. Then I will reinstall the software then try it again. Hopefully that should do it”.
In a case where your concerns will probably cost your boss money and reputation damage, you can suggest alternative solutions.
You might say, “Since the software is down and our clients are demanding for their work. I will suggest that we switch to the online Photoshop website which works like the software version. Or we can make use of Canva which I believe will be very efficient in completing the task at hand”.
5. Close your Email
The closing session of your email is an important part of the email. This is where you thank your boss or superior for their time, chip in any important information, or urge them to ask any questions regarding the content of your email. Always thank or acknowledge your boss. Thanking them shows that you value their time and effort. This helps you stay in a positive relationship with them. Here are some examples of closing lines:
- Thank you for your favourable considerations.
- Thank you for your time.
- Let me know if you have any question concerning this email.
- You can reach out to me with further questions or for more information.
Samples of Writing an Email to Your Boss About a Problem
Writing A Problem About Salary Dissatisfaction
Dear Mr Bateman, Subject Line: Salary Dissatisfaction I have been working as a security Engineer at Gizmo electronics for the past 3 and half years. Given my performance so far at the company, I would like to raise the issue regarding my salary. I noticed that I am still the lowest-paid employee among my colleagues who have the same qualification and degree as mine. Given my experience in the last 3 years and my contribution to the growth and development of the company (state some achievement and contribution towards the company), I feel that I am at a disadvantage. Over the years, I have always got good feedback and positive reviews from customers and colleagues alike on my performance and never required disciplinary action. Furthermore, my job sometimes require me to work after office hours and weekends, therefore I feel a raise would be due. I would like you to review this and perhaps arrange a meeting to discuss the matter sometime soon? I look forward to your response. Regards, Olivia Swann.
Writing an Email to Your Boss About a Work Related Problem
Dear Mr Davies, Subject Line: Issues about Design software I have been having serious issues with the graphics design software for the past two days now and it is affecting my output. I have updated both Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator and yet I am still experiencing the same problem. So I am reaching out to you to know if there is any assistance you can provide. Having looked into the issue critically, I discovered that the Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator software no longer supports the version of my laptop. I am in the process of upgrading my laptop to the latest version. Then I will reinstall the software then try it again. Hopefully, that should do it. Since the software is down and our clients are demanding for their work. I will suggest that we switch to the online Photoshop website which works like the software version. Or we can make use of Canva which I believe will be very efficient in completing the task at hand. I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions on this issue and if there is any advice you can give to aid my task. Thanks for your favourable considerations. Sincerely, Jonathan Reyes.
Writing an Email to Your Boss About a Staff's Well Being
Dear Mr Paul Subject Line: Security Issue at Our parking Lot. As the head of staff at Cliff Enterprises, I have received multiple complaints from our employees, especially from our female workers about the parking lot lights and the security issues around the area. This has been causing some serious security problems especially at this time of the year when it gets dark before the company closes up for the day. Attached to this email is the formal complaint as well as the employee safety committee's recommendations for your reference. I have contacted the local police department to discuss with them how we can improve our lighting system and possibly a part-time security guard. When you are less busy, I would like to discuss the procedure with you before we move forward. Thanks for your time. Sincerely, Brooke Dave VP at Cliff Enterprise.
While informing your boss about a problem is a good thing and can make your experience at work a suitable one, you have to be sensitive about it.
It is good to alert your boss about a problem early enough to give him time to come up with a suitable solution.
We hope this article will act as a guide anytime you want to inform your boss about a problem.