How to write an apology letter to your boss?
To make mistakes is human, but sometimes mistakes in the workplace can be detrimental to your reputation and, indeed, your job. Instead of trying to cover up your tracks and brush your mistakes under the carpet, or spend too much time dwelling on your slip-ups, you should take the honest path by first admitting and then apologising for your shortcomings.
If you’re not sure how to fess up, simply follow this step-by-step guide on how to apologise for making a mistake at work:
1. Acknowledge your mistake
Always begin with taking ownership of your mistakes and be brave enough to admit that you were at fault.
2. Apologise, honestly!
Once you’ve admitted that you were in the wrong, you need to apologise for your mistake. But make sure you are honest when apologising! Don’t just say ‘sorry’ because it’s the right thing to do; mean it.
3. Accept the responsibility
Now that you’ve apologised, you should accept responsibility for your wrongdoings. Now is when you explain what happened and identify the unfitting actions that you took which led to your mistake.
4.Offer an explanation for your mistake
Offering an explanation and insight behind your thought process is important, but make sure that it isn’t just a pile of lame excuses. Reflect on the situation and explain where you think it went wrong and how you could have approached it differently.
5. Plan and take a suitable course of action
After you have accepted your mistakes, explain how you will take action to ensure that you won’t repeat them. For example, if you’ve taken more leaves than planned for and agreed upon, share how you plan to be more judicious with the actions that caused you to take an unscheduled leave.
6. Express your regret and be apologetic
Once you’ve followed the above steps, express again how truly sorry you are for your mistakes and seek forgiveness. This denotes that you take your position seriously and you are willing to do all you can to improve and grow as a professional.
7. Re-assure it won’t happen again
Once you reach the end of your letter, mention that you won’t repeat the same mistakes again and will stay mindful of making mistakes any further. Apologising for your mistake is one thing but demonstrating that you intend to proactively learn from it will make it easier for your manager to rebuild his/her trust in you.
8. How to Structure an Apology Letter
Formal letters in the workplace have a predefined format that needs to be followed. Listed below is an overview of the formatting conventions and structure that your letter should incorporate:
a) Sender’s (your) address: If you wish to write a formal apology letter, begin with your address listed in the top right-hand corner of the page.
b) Date: Mention the date underneath the address of the letterhead, but if you have chosen to write an email (suggested), skip this step.
c) Subject: Keep the subject head brief and crisp. There’s no need to explain a lot here; something as simple as ‘Apology Letter’ will suffice.
d) Salutation: As this is a formal letter, you need to address the reader properly. So, even if you are on a first-name basis with your colleague or HR manager, it’s proper etiquette to open your letter with ‘Dear _____’ or ‘Dear Mr. /Miss ______’.
e) Opening paragraph: The letter should start with you apologising for the mistake you made.
f) Body: In the body, give a brief of the events and acknowledge where and how you went wrong. Try and suggest how and what you could have done differently.
g) Final paragraph: Explain how you plan on rectifying your mistake and ensure not doing it again.
h) Closing: Offer a second and final apology before you sign off and ask for any further assistance that you may need.
i) Your name and signature: As is the case with any formal letter or email, sign off with your name, handwritten signature (for written letters) and contact information.
There is no denying that apologizing can be difficult especially in a workplace because you deal with personal feelings in a setting that’s professional. Having said that, an apology letter is the best way to show your sincerity and allegiance to the job you are in, and the peers you work with.