Encourage an Employee After a Disappointment or a Company Setback • Example Letters, Guides and Samples


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.

How to write this encouragement letter:

  1. Mention the disappointment the reader is facing.
  2. Explain why the reader can feel optimistic.
  3. Express confidence that the reader will be overcome the challenges, and end on a positive note.

Example Letter #1


I know we have all experienced a very stressful year. Even after the downsizing six months ago that reduced our personnel twenty percent, we still have not achieved the winning quarter we were hoping for. Nevertheless, I want to assure you that we will not have further reductions in our work force. And there is another bright spot on the horizon. Although we did not turn a profit last quarter, we did break even and sales projections predict a small profit for the current quarter.

This positive trend indicates that our recovery from last year's problems is on track and that we will soon regain our losses. Thank you for remaining loyal to the company and for helping us make a comeback. We appreciate your confidence and hard work.

Example Letter #2


I realize that some problems have cropped up in the department since you took over as supervisor. As you know, the employees were particularly loyal to John Doe, and we expected some resistance to his replacement. But take heart. I have seen your calm, steady influence in the department and have no doubt that the employees will learn to work well with you. Keep up the good work. We're behind you all the way.

Example Letter #3


I understand how difficult it has been to work under the tighter budget introduced last year. As I am sure you understand, this is an attempt to streamline our operations by adopting more efficient methods of training and production. You may not know, however, that our production levels increased by nearly twenty percent in the last quarter. This increase is due to the hard work of employees like you who aren't afraid to innovate and finesse solutions to problems rather than throw money at them. At this rate the original budget will come back on track in no time, with revenues up as much as fifty percent. Keep up the good work!

Example Letter #4


I want you to know that I understand your disappointment at not receiving the promotion you wanted. While you have proven your worth as a contributing, effective member of our team, Mary's greater number of years in the company, in addition to her experience working on the Smith project, combined to make her the leading candidate for the job.

Please keep in mind that opportunities for advancement will come again. If you continue to be as productive and resourceful as you have been in the past, I see a bright future ahead of you.

Example Letter #5


I'm sure it was very disappointing to lose the Doe account after all your hard work. However, I want you to know I have never seen a more polished first-time presentation by a new employee. Given your skills, I am confident that you will have many more opportunities to make sales presentations for the company, and that many of them will result in new accounts.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1 Mention the disappointment the reader is facing.

Sample Sentences for Step 1
  • 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.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
  • 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.

Sample Sentences for Step 2
  • 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.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
  • 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.

Sample Sentences for Step 3
  • 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!
Sample Phrases for Step 3
  • 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