Writing an apology letter is tough, especially if you messed up something at work. All people make mistakes at some point, so it’s probable that you’ll have to make an official apology one day in your career. One issue that may be holding you back is if you feel you don’t need to apologize for what happened. Another problem with creating a professional apology is the level of shame or embarrassment that often comes with making a big mistake at work.If you write an apology letter that’s not very good, the reader won’t take your apology seriously. This could have a negative impact on your career. Your best bet is to work hard on crafting a sincere and well-written apology. Here, you can look at some professional apology letter templates to make it easy. Read over the example and then make an effective apology letter of your own.
Professional Apology Letter Template
Below, there is an example of a professional apology letter. Josh McNally works in a coffee shop for David Ashton, his boss. During his shift, Josh accidentally knocked over and broke an expensive coffee brewer. Because of the damage, the coffee shop couldn’t make coffee for customers. The shop lost about $5,000 in sales.
Yesterday, I opened at the coffee shop for the early shift. Unfortunately, due to a mistake I made, something happened that caused one of the pieces of equipment to break. I fully acknowledge responsibility for this. Things were going well as I prepared the shop for the day’s customers. I started brewing coffee and making sandwiches for later. At one point, I plugged the coffee brewer into the extension cord since one of the outlets wasn’t working.
Then, as I was doing the food prep, I accidentally tripped over the extension cord. This brought the coffee brewer down and made coffee spill all over the floor. I looked over at the coffee brewer and saw that it was in pieces. I tried to put it back together, but it was no use. The coffee brewer was inoperable for the rest of the day, resulting in the shop losing sales.
I want to apologize for my carelessness. Additionally, I want to make it right. I know you purchased a new coffee brewer after learning about the mishap. Please take the cost of the coffee brewer out of my paycheck, since I was the one who broke it. I hope that you can forgive me for causing damage to one of the shop’s machines. Please know that I promise to be much more careful with equipment in the future.
How To Write a Professional Apology Letter
Nobody’s perfect, and sometimes people make foolish or careless mistakes in their careers that cause big problems. An apology letter is important if you want to fix a mistake you’ve made at work. The purpose of an apology letter is to declare responsibility for your mistake. An effective apology letter should also provide an explanation of what happened and a promise of a change in behavior for the future.
When you start writing your apology letter, focus on who you’re actually writing to. You might write your apology letter to another employee, your boss, or a supervisor. After thinking about this, begin your letter with a sincere apology for the incident. Afterwards, you can go into detail and explain what happened and why it occurred.
Next, make sure you take full responsibility for what happened, whether it was something you said or something you did. Taking responsibility is important whether or not your mistake happened on purpose or occurred accidentally. This attitude shows maturity and professionalism and can help your audience be more understanding. Additionally, make sure you’re honest and upfront about the sequence of events that led to your mistake.
As you close your letter, think about ending your apology strong. Start by discussing how you can fix the situation. Sometimes, you can offer to work extra hours, pay for something damaged, or do a favor for the person who your mistake impacted. Lastly, you should ask for forgiveness, as shown in the professional apology letter template. Explain how you plan to do better in the future as you close the last few sentences.
What To Avoid in Your Professional Apology Letter
During the process of writing your apology letter, make sure you don’t fall into common traps associated with saying you’re sorry. The first thing you should avoid is shifting the blame onto someone else. When you’re writing an apology letter, the only person you should be blaming is yourself. Blaming someone else, even partially, can make it look as if you’re not truly accepting responsibility for your actions. For instance, even if Josh was really tired when he made that mistake and blames his boss for giving him a closing shift and an opening shift back to back, he should focus on his actions alone when writing the apology letter.
Next, you need to avoid sounding insincere. Some people write halfhearted apologies, which sound more like explanations for something. If you start off your letter saying, “I’m sorry, but…,” and explain how something else other than yourself caused the problem, you’ll come across as not really meaning it. A real apology uses words such as “apologize” or “sorry” and comes straight from the heart. A true and meaningful apology will go a long way and add some credibility to your name.
How To Follow Up After Sending Your Professional Apology Letter
Once you send your letter out, you should attempt to follow up with the recipient. If you work with this person every day, give him or her some time to get over what happened and digest your apology letter. After a few days, it’s best to either call or discuss the letter in person. The reason you should follow up is to check on the status of your offer to fix the mistake. You also want to gauge the relationship to see if your boss or co-worker can to forgive you. At this point, it’s appropriate to have a conversation about how to make amends, such as paying for the mistake or working extra hours to make up for the error.
Top 5 Professional Apology Letter Writing Takeaways
1. Make your letter appropriate for the workplace
Whatever happened that you need to apologize for, your letter needs to be professional and appropriate for your workplace. Simply state the facts; avoid talking about other co-workers and using inappropriate language, even if you’re angry about what happened.
2. Accept responsibility for your actions
You have to write an apology letter for a reason. You need to step up and take responsibility for the problem that happened. This takes a lot of courage, but it may result in people having more respect for you in the future.
3. Explain why it happened
Hopefully, making mistakes at work is a rare occurrence for you. When something does happen and it’s your fault, it’s reasonable to offer an explanation. This doesn’t mean you are providing an excuse for your mistake. Simply give background to help your recipient understand what you were thinking.
4. Say the words, “I’m sorry”
At some point in your letter, you need to actually say the words, “I’m sorry,” or, “I apologize.” This demonstrates sincerity and commitment when making a formal apology.
5. Ask for forgiveness
Don’t forget to ask the recipient to forgive you for the lapse in judgment. Asking for forgiveness is an awkward thing to do, but it’s necessary when you’re crafting a formal apology. If you also suggest ways to correct the mistake and put things back together, it may make it easier for your boss or co-worker to forgive you.