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How to Complain to the Boss in Writing

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It's safe to say that most people will experience problems in the workplace at some point in their careers. Whether the problems are with work conditions, other employees or your superior, it is best to approach them in a calm, mature manner. Rather than bringing up your problem in the heat of frustration, a formal written complaint should be crafted and given to your boss. A written complaint will garner attention and respect from your superior, and will ultimately increase the chances of the issue being addressed.

Isolate the key issue that is bothering you before putting pen to paper. While many people might feel the need to rant about a handful of things that have caused them frustration at work, this will only serve as problematic and will negate any positive progress that might come out of the complaint letter. Think the issue through so that you are able to clearly articulate exactly what is bothering you.

Begin writing your complaint letter. Depending on your comfort level with your boss, you may address him by his first name, or you can use the standard "Dear Mr. So-and-So" format to open the letter. Carefully articulate the issue that has been bothering you, making sure not to point fingers or place blame on your boss or any of your fellow employees. Ensure also that the language used throughout the letter is neutral or positive, rather than being inherently negative. A negative tone will often result in your complaint being brushed aside.

Close the letter by thanking your superior for taking the time to address the issue, and by making it clear that an improved work environment will allow you to better focus on your duties; this will help to give your boss incentive to take care of the problem.

Deliver the complaint to your boss. In general, it is best not to hand it directly to your boss; instead, place it in her mailbox or on her desk.


Do not share any details of your complaint with other employees.