8 essential hr letter template

8 Essential SME HR Letter Templates

HR templates are the last thing on your mind when you start a company and play every role from director to janitor.

showing hr letter templates not as important early on in a companys stage
Decision-maker by morning, potty polisher by night.

Even as you build a small team, you may prefer to write documents ad hoc, since each role can involve different expectations, and some people are just better at negotiating salaries!

However, if you intend to truly grow and scale, you will have to relegate the task of people management to a dedicated HR personnel or team.  The tradeoff is that you lose visibiity over daily internal communications.

With proper resources, losing visibility doesn’t mean losing control. 

That’s where HR letter templates become essential.

On that note, here are eight key HR letter templates to enforce consistent communications across your company regardless of who’s doing the writing. 

1. Appointment Letter 

A letter of appointment is an official communication indicating an individual’s selection for a specific position within the company. It provides key information about the role, including responsibilities and expectations. 

Key inclusions: 

  • Company Information: the name, address, logo, and contact details of your company
  • Employee’s Information: the employee’s full name, position, and department
  • Employment Status: clearly state if the employee is full-time, part-time, or contract, with room for details on employment period if relevant
  • Compensation Details: salary or hourly wage details, as well as any bonus or commission structure
  • Work Schedule: working hours, breaks, and days of operations
  • Statement of NonDisclosure: a brief section highlighting the need for confidentiality
  • Signature Block: space for signature and date of the HR personnel and new employee acknowleging terms outlined

2. Confirmation Letter 

A confirmation letter is issued to an employee after they have successfully completed their probation period. This letter formally confirms their continued employment in your organisation and permission to adorn their desk with various holiday trinkets, post-it notes, and cat pictures.

Key inclusions: 

  • Employee Information: the employee’s full name, job title, and department
  • Confirmation Statement: confirm the exact event or status such as job confirmation
  • Details of the Confirmation: commencement date and working conditions
  • Previously Signed Documents: prior agreements, contracts, or forms signed by the employee
  • Closing Statement: a courteous closing inviting the recipient to ask questions or express concerns

3. Promotion Letter 

Your long-term staff and star performers will not likely stay in the same position for long – they’ll get promoted after completing their probationary period. A promotion letter confirms this movement to a higher position in the company and covers relevant details about the new role.

Key inclusions: 

  • Details of Promotion: new job title, new department, and new duties and responsibilities
  • Existing & New Salary Details: the employee’s pre and post-promotion salary
  • Effective Date: commencement date of the new role and responsibilities
  • Additional Benefits: any additional benefits accompanying the promotion

4. Welfare Benefits Letter 

This letter is issued when there is a revision of any benefits. Common ones include details about insurance and retirement, while some companies even offer sponsored education and profit sharing schemes as part of a work package. 

Key inclusions: 

  • Employee Name and Address: Makes sure the letter is personalized and goes to the correct individual.
  • Overview of Benefits: an explanation of benefits, each as a bullet point with detailed descriptions
  • How to Access Benefits: steps on how to apply for or make use of said benefits
  • Contact Information:  contact information or pointers to where employees can get clarification

5. Redesignation Letter 

For various reasons, employees sometimes make lateral movements within an organisation – also known as a redesignation. This can come from a desire for personal growth, a need for manpower, or just for the heck of it! 

A redesignation letter is used when an employee’s role changes within the organisation. Unlike a promotion, a redesignation might not involve an increase in rank or pay, but rather a shift in responsibilities or functions. 

Key Inclusions: 

  • New Job Title and Department: new job title and department to which employee is moved
  • New Job Responsibilities: detailed descriptions of new responsibilities and expectations
  • Effective Date: clearly state when the redesignation takes effect
  • Reporting Structure: Describe the reporting structure, i.e., who the employee will report to and who will report to the employee in the new position
  • Revised Salary (if applicable): If applicable, mention the revised salary and other compensation details associated with the new position
free pdf employee handbook for malaysian sme and hr decision makers

    6. Warning Letter 

    In cases of misconduct or underperformance, a warning letter ensures the employee understands they must take remedial steps to meet expectations if they wish to remain with the company. It is both compassionate and stern, giving staff ample opportunity to change while leaving no doubt about consequences of non-improvement.

    Key inclusions: 

    • Details of the Misconduct: parties and locations involved, KPIs unmet, and any consequences
    • Previous Warnings (if applicable): reference any prior warnings received
    • Expected Improvement & Deadline: chart out expected improvements and a reasonable deadline
    • Consequence of Non-Improvement: the effects of non-improvement must be explicitly stated

    Note: Avoid a vindictive or accusatory tone, as the purpose is to encourage change, not punish.

    7. Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) Letter 

    When employees chronically underperform, you can’t just strap them to a catapult and launch them into a brick wall. After all, where would you even find a catapult nowadays?

    So long as they are willing to put in the effort, underperformers should be put on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), where they are given a clear roadmap of areas needig improvement with specific, achievable goals, all encapsulated in a neat PIP letter from HR!

    Key Inclusions: 

    • Clear Explanation of Performance Issues: the issues regarding the employee’s performance in a neutral and factual tone
    • Expectations and Goals: performance expectations and the specific goals to achieve
    • Improvement Strategies: practical methods to improve performance
    • Timelines: the duration within which improvements should be noticeable
    • Consequences: potential consequences if performance does not improve

    8. Termination Letter 

    The termination letter, sometimes known as the ‘pink slip’ or the ‘oh my God I can’t believe this is happening’ letter, is a vital document that must be tactfully written to maintain your organisation’s professional integrity while ensuring the employee understands the basis for their termination. 

    Key Inclusions: 

    • Statement of Termination: clearly state the employee is being terminated, leaving room to specify position and effective date of termination
    • Reason for Termination: leave room to explain the reasons for the termination
    • Details on Last Paycheck: specify when and how they will receive their final paycheck
    • Return of Company Property: leave room to list company property the employee must return.
    • Benefits: Provide information on health insurance, retirement plans, and other benefits
    • Closing Statement: polite closing remark and how they can contact HR for further questions

    Key inclusions in all HR letter templates

    • Header: key company information, logo, and details
    • Date: pretty self-explanatory, we think
    • Employee’s Details: full name, department, and current position of the employee
    • Signature: for both for employer and the employee

    Can I prepare my own HR templates? 

    We get it – SMEs want to operate as lean as possible, and so to answer the question simply: yes. 

    However, we need to point out the larger picture of understanding and awareness of HR processes.

    Why opt for professionally prepared HR templates?

    The four quadrants below describe where people and organisations lie on the spectrum of awareness and understanding of all knowledge.

    Anyone who has lived long enough will understand that not all unknowns are equal – there are areas we are unaware we know nothing about – aka unknown unknowns.

    Preparing HR templates requires a firm understanding of HR processes, Malaysian labour law, industry best practices, and above all, the ability to articulate these clearly. 

    If you are confident you have this understanding or how to obtain it (quadrants 1, 2, and 3), all is well.

    However, if you are concerned about gaps you simply have no way of identifying (quadrant 4), a HR professional ensures nothing gets overlooked.

    Let MISHU prepare your HR letter templates

    photo of consultant for hr advisory employee handbook

    In addition to labour law compliance, HR letters benefit from writing that removes ambiguity and aligns all stakeholders. For that reason, we strongly urge company decision makers to engage a professional HR consultant who can work with you to tailor HR letter templates specific to your company needs.

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