Each time you promote an employee, they should be sent a promotion letter to confirm their promotion, the increased pay rate, new responsibilities and more. A letter helps hold the employee accountable as they transition into their new role, and long after. Promotion letters don’t take long to write and don’t have to be as rigid as other business documents, though they should be formal.
A promotion letter formally details an employee’s new, higher position within your company. Typically, a promotion letter doesn’t commence discussions about promotions; instead, it is a follow-up to ongoing conversations you’ve had with the employee about the promotion. As such, it’s less about presenting new information than confirming all of the details you and your employee have discussed regarding their new position, pay and duties. It’s also a chance to congratulate them and express your gratitude to the employee.
A promotion letter should include the following:
Don’t forget to update the employee’s title on your website and print updated business cards for them.
In addition to the above tips, here are a handful of tips to keep in mind as you write your letter:
When writing a promotion letter, begin with a template, use a formal but cordial tone and have someone from HR proofread the final draft.
To build your promotion letter, copy the below example into your word processor and replace the relevant details as needed:
Subject: Promotion for [Name of employee]
Congratulations on your promotion to [New title] at [Company name]! Your promotion is effective [Date on which promotion takes effect].
Your new salary will be [Salary] per year, paid [Pay schedule, e.g., semimonthly, monthly, etc.]. You will report to [Name of new manager and their title] and maintain your 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday work schedule. [Name of new manager] is looking forward to working closely with you.
Your responsibilities will be to [Detail the employee’s new responsibilities]. Our employee handbook has additional details on what the [new title] role entails.
Again, congratulations on your promotion. The company and I are very grateful for all of the work you have done to date – and the work you’ll do in your new role. If you accept this promotion, please reply to this email and acknowledge your acceptance of the promotion.
There are several reasons why you want a promotion letter instead of verbally discussing, and then enacting, a promotion with no paper trail:
Although a promotion letter and promotion announcement may sound like the same thing, they serve different purposes and are typically used at various stages of the promotion process.
A promotion letter is a formal document sent to the employee who is being promoted. Its primary purpose is to officially communicate the promotion to the individual, outline the details of the new role, and provide information regarding changes to salary, benefits and reporting relationships.
A promotion announcement is sent to the broader organization (e.g., colleagues, managers and other stakeholders) to inform them about an employee’s new position. Its primary purpose is to inform the entire organization of the employee’s new role and responsibilities. It may also be used to celebrate the employee’s achievements and contributions.
A promotion announcement should be clear, concise and professional. It should also be aligned with the company culture and brand.
A promotion announcement should include:
You can customize the promotion announcement even further by including a photo and/or quote from the promoted employee, as well as a link to the promoted employee’s LinkedIn profile.
To build your promotion announcement, copy the below example into your word processor and replace the relevant details as needed:
Subject: Promotion Announcement for [Employee name]
I would like to take a moment to congratulate [Employee name]! I am pleased to announce [Employee name]’s promotion to [New position] effective [Date on which promotion takes effect].
[Employee name] has been with [Company name] for [X] years and has worked in [Department name]. During their tenure here, [Employee name] has consistently exceeded expectations and made significant contributions to the team.
Some of [Employee name]’s key accomplishments include:
In their new role, [Employee name] will report to [Supervisor’s name] and will be responsible for [List of responsibilities].
I am confident that [Employee name] will excel in this new position and continue to be a valuable asset to our team. Please join me in congratulating [Employee name] on their well-deserved promotion!
Be sure to proofread your promotion announcement carefully before sending it out.
Skye Schooley contributed to this article.