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How to Write a Complaint Letter to Human Resources (With Templates)

Last Updated: April 10, 2023 Fact Checked

Sample Letters

Harassment complaint letter, general complaint letter, resolving the issue.

This article was co-authored by Lily Zheng, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden . Lily Zheng is a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant and Executive Coach who works with organizations around the world to build more inclusive and innovative workplaces for all. Lily is the author of Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace: Transgender and Gender-Diverse Discrimination (2018) and The Ethical Sellout: Maintaining Your Integrity in the Age of Compromise (2019). Lily earned her MA in Sociology from Stanford University. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 2,130,999 times.

Is your boss threatening your job if you don't "see things his way?" Is a coworker sabotaging you or taking credit for your ideas? The workplace can be stressful enough without these issues to deal with, and many problems like these are against company policy (or even against the law). Fortunately, by making a formal complaint to Human Resources (HR), you can address any issues at your job and come up with a solution that works for everyone. Keep reading to learn exactly what to include in your letter as well as how to follow up with HR.

Things You Should Know

  • Format your letter like a business letter, and start with a professional greeting.
  • Include your name and as many details about the complaint as you can, including documents and witnesses.
  • Write about what you’ve tried so far, and end the letter by stating a proposed solution.
  • Follow up with HR after a few days or weeks for mediation or a resolution.

how to write hr statement

  • Derogatory remarks or slurs based on the protected characteristic
  • Intimidation
  • Threats and physical assaults
  • Telling offensive jokes

Step 2 Write down details about the harassment.

  • Who harassed you and their relationship to you. You can be harassed by a supervisor or by a coworker. Also, the harassment can come from someone of the same sex as you.
  • When each harassing act occurred—date, time, and location. Also write down what the person said or did, and how you responded.
  • Who witnessed the harassment. Write down their names and job titles.
  • What tangible evidence you have of the harassment. For example, you may have harassing emails, voice mails, or notes.

Step 3 Format your letter...

  • Describe the incidents in chronological order, which is the easiest for people to understand.
  • In some larger organizations, HR might not know everyone, such as a coworker. Identify who they are, e.g., “Jason Jones, who works in the cubicle next to me, saw our boss make the obscene gesture.”
  • Stick to the facts. Don’t make any kind of allegation or charge that you can’t back up with proof, such as your written memories or a witness. For example, don’t speculate about your boss or coworker’s motivation for what they said or did, since there’s no way to prove that.

Lily Zheng, MA

Lily Zheng, MA

Make sure the letter answers "who," "what," "where," and "when." Clearly lay out the problem and its impact on you and your work, along with any relevant information HR might need to know. Then, suggest a solution that will resolve the problem and its negative impact."

Step 6 Explain how you responded to the situation.

  • Also explain if you tried to resolve the issue. For example, you might have met with your harasser to ask them to stop making sexually-explicit jokes.
  • Remember to explain how the harassment made you feel. For example, you might have had trouble working in a team with the person who was harassing you, which caused you to skip work or perform below your usual standards.

Step 7 Propose a solution.

  • Remember to end the letter by thanking HR for their time. Insert “Best” or “Sincerely,” and then sign the letter.

Our Expert Agrees: To ensure that the resolution you suggest is appropriate, put yourself in the perspective of the decision-maker, and ask yourself, "Does this make sense?" and "What other options are available?"

Step 8 Avoid using offensive language.

  • Instead of writing, “I’m so pissed right now,” write “I am angry.”
  • Instead of “my boss is a bigot,” write “Mr. Jones intimidates me by repeatedly yelling at me using racial slurs.”

Step 9 Send the letter to HR.

  • You haven’t been paid properly : your company might be withholding pay, not calculating it properly, etc.
  • You have not received what you have been promised under your employment contract.
  • Your boss or coworkers are bullying you . Some abuse doesn’t qualify as workplace harassment. Legally, harassment must be based on a protected characteristic, such as race, gender, religion, age, etc. [10] X Trustworthy Source US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission U.S. government agency that enforces civil rights in the workplace Go to source Nevertheless, someone might bully you simply because they don’t like you.
  • You are being discriminated against , either for race, religion, gender, or political beliefs.

Step 2 Gather the facts about what happened.

  • What happened, when, and where. If you’ve been bullied, write down the details.
  • Who is involved (your immediate supervisor, coworker, an employee in a different part of the organization, etc.)
  • How you attempted to resolve the issue. Did you talk to a supervisor? Ask HR for help already? Write down the dates and the names of who you spoke with. Also, summarize any responses you received.

Step 3 Set up your letter using a business format.

  • Contact HR and ask who to address your letter to. Write a salutation like “Dear Mr. Marshall” or something equivalent.

Step 4 Get to the point quickly.

  • For example, begin with something like: “I am a data processing clerk in our accounting office. I’m writing to complain that my total pay has been inaccurate for 2 months now.”

Step 5 Provide details.

  • Write something like the following: “There have been 3 major bullying incidents” and then write “Additionally, there has been low-level bullying, which I am happy to discuss in person with you.”

Step 6 Explain how you have handled the issue.

  • For example, “On January 12, I told my supervisor, Larsa Chavez, about my pay being wrong. Although she said she would investigate, my pay hasn’t changed and she doesn’t seem too worried about it. We are now approaching the 2-month mark and I am still not being paid properly.”
  • Also let HR know how you have been feeling. For example, if you are being bullied, briefly explain how it has affected your health. Identify if you had to take time off or had to see a doctor. [16] X Research source

Step 7 End the letter with a request for a resolution.

  • If you don’t think HR has your phone number, include that as well.

Step 1 Meet with an HR investigator.

  • Although you may be told that the interview is confidential, expect many other people in the organization to know what you have written.

Step 2 Participate in mediation if HR recommends it.

  • The purpose of mediation is to resolve the dispute voluntarily so that each side can walk away feeling good.
  • If the harassment has been severe, don’t feel compelled to mediate a dispute with your employer. Instead, find an attorney and discuss next steps.
  • Your employer might offer “conciliation,” which is like mediation. However, the conciliator is more involved in decision-making than a mediator, who lets the parties decide on a proper resolution.

Step 3 File a harassment charge

  • Avoid delaying this step. You have 180 days from the date of the harassment to file a discrimination charge with the EEOC. [20] X Trustworthy Source US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission U.S. government agency that enforces civil rights in the workplace Go to source Your state agency may give you more time.
  • Generally, federal EEOC law covers most employers. But some smaller employers might only be covered by state law. If your employer has 15 or fewer employees, you may need to complain to your state agency.

Step 4 Hire an attorney to escalate the situation beyond your workplace.

  • Ask for an employment lawyer . When you call to set up a consultation, ask how much the lawyer charges.
  • Prepare for your consultation by gathering helpful documents, such as a copy of your complaint letter to HR.
  • At the consultation, you will discuss whether you have a legal case. Not all harassing conduct rises to the level of legal harassment. For example, 1 off-color joke probably doesn’t qualify.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Your workplace might have a grievance form for you to fill out. Check with Human Resources before writing your letter. Use the form if one is available. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how to write hr statement

You Might Also Like

Write a Complaint Letter to a Company

  • ↑ https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/harassment.cfm
  • ↑ https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/complaint-about-a-problem-at-work-grievance-letter-checklist/
  • ↑ https://www.employmentlawhelp.org/discrimination/gender/lgbtq-discrimination-complaint-letter
  • ↑ https://consumer.ftc.gov/consumer-alerts/2015/09/how-write-effective-complaint-letter
  • ↑ https://www.employmentlawhelp.org/sexual-harassment/sample-letter
  • ↑ https://www.eeoc.gov/harassment
  • ↑ https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/problems-at-work/Letter-to-raise-a-grievance-at-work/
  • ↑ https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/economic-justice/sexual-harassment/know-your-rights-witnessing-sexual-harassment-work.pdf
  • ↑ https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/work/grievance-meetings/dealing-with-grievances-at-work/

About This Article

Lily Zheng, MA

To write a letter of complaint to human resources, start off by explaining what your complaint is about. Then, provide details, facts, and evidence that support the claim you're making. You should also explain any attempts you've made to solve the problem yourself. Conclude your letter with a request for help, like asking for an investigation or a mediated meeting. When you're writing your letter, try to be as specific as possible by including people's names and also the dates you spoke with them. Before you submit your letter, save a copy for your records. To learn more, such as how to talk to and work with a representative from Human Resources, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Writing an HR Incident Report Template

hr incident report template

Accidents and incidents are, unfortunately, relatively common in the workplace, regardless of the industry. From minor workplace incidents to more serious injuries in the workplace, being able to handle these occurrences is crucial. For this reason, it’s important to create an HR incident report template. With this document, events can be documented and investigated where necessary. 

Prior to creating this report, it is vital that human resources and health and safety managers understand what’s entailed, which information should be gathered, and what the different safety categories are.

What is an example of an Incident and when would you report it?

A workplace incident is any event that exposes employees or customers to serious risks. First and foremost, it is important to distinguish between an incident and an accident:

  • An incident is an unexpected event that hasn’t caused personal injury, but which may have resulted in damage to company property and which could potentially have caused serious injury, incapacity or death. Often referred to as “ an accident waiting to happen ”, this category generally tends to include near misses, dangerous occurrences, and events that cause significant risk to employees. These incidents can cause disruption or interference to an organization and may impact systems and operations. 
  • An accident is an event that leads to physical or mental occupational injury or death and occurs during work hours. They generally arise as an effect of failing to duly investigate prior incidents. 

There are various types of incidents that could arise in the workplace that would call for an incident report: 

Types of HR Incident Report Situations

Near miss: an event that doesn’t result in injury, but which had the potential to cause harm. These may include things such as an employee tripping over loose cables or the use of inadequate personal protective equipment.

Dangerous occurrence: a set of circumstances that could potentially cause injury, such as the failure of load-bearing equipment in a manufacturing facility.

Occupational diseases: a repetitive action or environmental risk which could potentially result in personal injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or occupational asthma.

Security incident : an event that may indicate that an organization’s data has been compromised. A security incident could also mean that preventative measures have been breached, such as evidence of hacking or a computer virus.

Safety or hazard observation : an incident where no injury has been sustained but a hazard, such as untidy working areas or defective equipment,  has been observed with the potential for causing injury.

Property damage : an event that caused damage to company property which had the potential to also cause personal injury. Examples may include damage caused by moving, flying or falling objects.

Workplace misconduct : failure to adhere to company rules and policies, such as neglecting to follow recommended instructions for heavy machinery or a breach of health and safety guidelines.

No harm events : minor incidents that need to be investigated and communicated to employees to raise awareness of any potential risk.

custom reports

What to know about HR Incident Reports

Why do i need to complete an incident report and when should it be completed .

HR incident reporting is an important safety tool that you can use to investigate the root cause of incidents. Its purpose is also to create corrective actions that eliminate the risk of future occurrences. An incident report can be used by an employee to report an event they have witnessed or to raise awareness of a potential risk that has been observed.

An HR incident report can help with risk assessment. The more incidents reported, the more data the health and safety department has to analyze. These reports can help identify weak areas in a company where a lack of knowledge or training exists. In addition, it can also highlight where there are inadequate work standards or maintenance issues. All of the above are essential in identifying quickly so you can mitigate the possible health and safety risks to your employees. 

The aim of an incident report is to identify potential root causes and implement preventative measures to reduce the risk of an accident occurring. It also serves to improve communication within a company. Lastly, it helps educate staff to adhere to best practices, both for the good of their own safety and for the company as a whole.

What Do I Write in an HR Incident Report Template?

The human resources department is responsible for creating an incident report template and making it available to all staff. The form should ask the right questions so that all essential information about the incident can be gathered and employees are aware of what information they should have.

An incident report form should include:

  • An accurate description of the event that occurred. Descriptions should be clear and specific and include factual, objective statements.
  • Both sides of the story and witness statements where appropriate.
  • All key elements and essential questions (what, where, when, why and how).
  • Photos, diagrams and illustrations as supporting evidence, where relevant.

What else to include in an HR incident report 

An HR accident report must gather a range of data for analysis. Questions should be quantitative (referring to lost working hours/days, incident costs, etc.) and qualitative (referring to severity, potential injury, etc.) and they should help encourage employees to be as brief and specific as possible. 

Incidents should be categorized by type (security incident, occupational hazard, near miss, etc.) as this helps to build statistics that help with analysis. Full descriptions of circumstances leading up to the incident should be requested; the more specific, the better. Questions should aim to discover the root cause, as well as focus on follow-up and preventative measures.

Data to include in an HR incident form:

  • Date and time the incident occurred
  • Location within the premises
  • A concise and comprehensive description of the incident
  • Consequences of the incident
  • Root cause 
  • The likelihood that the event will occur again
  • Pictures of the area and any resulting damage
  • Lessons learned
  • Suggested risk control measures
  • Contact details of all involved parties

Keep Your Incident Reports Simple

The most important aspect of building an HR incident report template is to keep it simple. If a form is too long or complicated, employees will be put off reporting their observations. When this is the case, employees tend to only report severe incidents.

By implementing a simple template for HR incident reports and employee reporting policy you can encourage employees to maintain consistent records of all their findings. Also, by simplifying employees tend to take reasonable steps and work together to reduce workplace injuries and the risk of workplace accidents. All of these actions result in a safer environment, improved staff morale, and increased productivity.

Keep better track of your HR Reports with Factorial

Written by  Cat Symonds;  Edited by  Tanya Lesiuk

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How to Write an HR Mission Statement that Helps Achieve Your Workforce Planning Goals

Sierra Rogers' headshot 2023

Sierra Rogers

What is an hr mission statement, why have an hr mission statement, how to write an hr mission statement, creating an hr mission statement is a strategic move that can help your team understand how their work contributes to larger goals..


A Gartner survey of over 180 HR executives last year found that only half of them felt confident in their HR functions’ capability to execute workforce planning at their organizations. In addition, only 44% actually have extensive exposure to their organizations’ workforce planning activities ( full content available to clients ).

We won’t go so far as to say that an HR mission statement is enough to significantly improve those figures, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Creating an HR mission statement is a strategic move that accomplishes two things. First, it tells others in your business what your human resources department ’s biggest priorities are, and second, it holds your team accountable for making decisions that benefit those priorities.

In fact, writing an HR mission statement should be one of the first things you do when developing a workforce planning strategy. But let’s not jump too far ahead. Keep reading to learn what HR mission statements are, why you should have one, and how to write one.

A human resources mission statement is a specific motto, goal, or philosophy followed by a company’s HR department. It differs from a company’s overall mission statement because it doesn’t necessarily have to do with what the company itself does.

Instead, an HR mission statement is tied to the talent and human aspects of your organization, and includes language that communicates your most important recruiting, hiring, or workforce management goals.

A well-crafted HR mission statement helps your HR department make decisions that are in line with your business’s workforce goals. Think of it as a point of reference—your HR department can return to the mission statement to evaluate how specific processes or methods help contribute to larger objectives.

Another reason to have an HR mission statement is that the process of writing one can help bring clarity to your workforce planning goals. Simply put, communicating your mission and vision to others requires understanding it yourself first. Think of the writing process as an exercise in determining the most important goals for your team.

You need a mission statement that every member of your HR department enthusiastically supports. But to get there, you might need some guidance. That’s what we’re here for.

Below, we’ll cover three general rules for writing mission statements, as well as four things you should include in your HR mission statement.

3 general rules for drafting mission statements:

If you’ve written a mission statement before, these rules shouldn’t come as a surprise. If you haven’t, keep these tips top of mind and you should end up with a concise and professional mission statement.

1. Keep your statement short As FDR once said, “Be sincere. Be brief. Be seated.”

The most effective mission statements are short, to-the-point, and heartfelt. Three sentences, max.

2. Use easy-to-understand language that’s specific to your business Keep the language in your mission statement simple. Avoid jargon and buzzwords, but don’t shy away from language related to your business offering or industry.

Ravi Parikh , CEO of RoverPass, shared their HR mission statement with us:

The open road is our calling, but our true passion lies in creating an environment for others to thrive. We're dedicated to helping small RV businesses thrive in an industry that's often unfavorable to them. If you're driven toward the same goals, we could accomplish great things together.

The decision to include the term “open road” was a strategic one, because it invokes a sense of adventure, which is perfect for RoverPass, a campground management software.

3. Incorporate an aspirational element A “mission” is a task or assignment. If your business (or in this case, HR department) had a singular mission, what would completing it look like? Whatever you pictured is your vision, and that should be the aspirational element of your statement.

Jake Hill , CEO of DebtHammer, shared their HR mission statement with us.

We feel it's our duty to help people get out from under the oppressive heel of predatory payday loans and other financial scams. We're looking for employees who share this thirst for justice and a desire to see the little guy finally rise up and defeat a multi-million dollar industry. If you've personally been affected by these lending practices, we'd love to have you fight in our corner.

What we love about this statement is that it clearly expresses what DebtHammer’s mission is (to help individuals taken advantage of by payday loan businesses), and also speaks to their vision (to defeat the predatory payday loan industry).

4 things to include in your HR mission statement:

We’ve covered the basics for writing a mission statement, you’ve seen some examples, and now it’s time to start crafting your own. To do that, write down what comes to mind when you think about these four components of your business.


1. The core values of your business Whether your organization has formal or informal core values, it’s a good idea to reference these in your HR mission statement in order to give a glimpse into your company’s culture.

For example, Adidas core values are performance, passion, integrity, and diversity. Adidas wove these values into its HR strategic pillars (its version of an HR mission statement), which are as follows: “To create a working environment that stimulates team spirit, passion , engagement and achievement, to instill a performance culture based upon strong leadership, and to make the Adidas Group the employer of choice.”

2. What success looks like for your business If your business achieved what it sets out to do, what would the end result look like? Think big! For example, DebtHammer defines what success looks like to them with the phrase "...to see the little guy finally rise up and defeat a multi-million dollar industry.”

3. Who you want on your team Defining your HR mission statement requires understanding the type of employees your business wants to attract and retain. This step is also important for your team: They need to know who to look for! But rather than listing out qualifications or personality traits that can exclude amazing candidates, this part of your mission statement should be a call for those that connect with your purpose.

4. Your employee value proposition Lastly, touch on what you offer as an employer. Does your business focus on career development opportunities? Is work-life balance a priority? You can be as specific or general as feels right with this info; the idea is to communicate to potential employees how you treat your team.

An HR mission statement is just one part of a comprehensive workforce planning strategy

Now you’re ready to write your HR mission statement, but when you’re done, what do you do with it?

First, share the statement with your fellow HR professionals and gather their initial feedback. HR mission statements are meant to inspire, and if your team is not enthused by the statement you’ve created, listen to their concerns and make adjustments.

Once you’ve created a statement everyone feels committed to, don’t abandon it!

Showcase it on your company’s career page for potential employees to see and return to your statement each quarter as you plan new initiatives. Because your HR mission statement should speak to your vision, it’s a great barometer of how smaller goals contribute to your HR department’s highest priorities.

How’s the rest of your workforce planning strategy? Creating an HR mission statement is a great place to start, but there’s a lot more you can do. For instance, does your human resources software include functionalities such as scenario planning and HR analytics that assist with workforce planning? If not, it might be time to take a look at what’s out there and see if there’s a solution perfect for your company’s current needs.

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About the author.

Sierra Rogers' headshot 2023

Sierra Rogers is a senior content writer at Capterra, covering human resources, eLearning, and nonprofits with expertise in recruiting and learning and development strategies. With a background in the tech and fashion industries, she has extensive experience keeping her finger on the pulse of the latest trends and reporting on how they impact our world. Sierra enjoys cooking and dining out, collecting vintage designer goods, and spending time with her pets at home in Austin, Texas.

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Written by Lauren Brown Lauren is an aPHR®-certified member of the Marketing team at Bernard Health. She writes about healthcare insights, employment law, and HR solutions.

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