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Apology Letter To Boss

Writing an apology letter to a boss or employer is a common occurrence in the workplace. Given that we spend a significant portion of our time at work, it's only natural that we may slip up on occasion and need to acknowledge our mistakes.

If you need to apologize to a boss or manager, use the following template apology letter as a guide to help you craft your own professional message.

Man upset and holding his head in front of his computer typing a letter to boss


Whether the mistake was within or beyond our control, extending an apology to your superior can help resolve any issues and make things right again.

Of course, some infractions carry more weight than others, particularly in a professional setting where the consequences could have business implications or even the risk of losing your job.

So, making an effort to craft and properly format a sincere apology letter to your boss is an important first step.

Most Common Reasons For Saying Sorry To Your Boss

Apologies to bosses typically stem from various reasons, including a simple mistake, absence from work, unprofessional conduct or behavior, subpar or poor performance, misconduct, insubordination, being late or not showing up at all.

Template For Apologizing to Your Boss / Manager

The table below includes a sample apology along with notes so that you can tailor your letter to your particular situation.

Apology Letter to Boss Template

Notes Sample Apology Letter to Boss


If you're on a first name basis with your boss then it's appropriate to use their first name. If not address them as Mr. or Ms.

Dear Mr./Ms. _______________,

Apologize with a detailed account of the situation with specifics.

Start with a general term for the infraction along with time and place specifics e.g.mistake, unprofessional behavior, insubordination, tardiness etc..

Please accept my sincere apology for not showing up for the presentation with Acme on Friday afternoon. I know how important the meeting was for the company and it was unprofessional of me to be absent and not advise anyone. I am truly sorry.

Acknowledge the hurt, damage done and implications on the business.

I know I let you and the company down and can appreciate your disappointment in me.

I can only imagine how awkward the meeting was and how this all must have looked to our customers. I fully understand the inconvenience I caused you and the resulting delay in closing the deal as a result of my actions.

Take full responsibility and make it very clear that you were at fault.

I take full responsibility for my absence and understand that my behavior did not meet the standards you and this company expect (or deserve) from their employees.

It was wrong of me not to show up and I was at fault again for not advising anyone that I would be absent prior to the meeting.

Recognize your role in the situation. Provide a detailed account of what happened without making excuses.

A personal situation came up that took me across town and that I needed to address however that is my issue and not the company's or yours.

Promise that it won't happen again and tell your boss why it's important to you that it doesn't.

I can promise you that this will never happen again and that I've taken all the necessary measures to ensure that it doesn't. It's very important to me that you continue to trust me implicitly and know that I always honor my commitments.

Include a statement of regret.

I let myself down, and more importantly I let you, my boss, and the company down. I regret the whole incident and I am deeply embarrassed to have put us all in this situation.

Provide some way of easing the pain caused.

I've sent a letter of apology to Acme, spoken with Bob and John personally, and have rescheduled the presentation for tomorrow morning.

End with a willingness to do whatever is necessary to correct the situation.

This apology letter to a boss reflects the employee's understanding that mere words may not suffice, and is willing to do anything to get back in their boss's good graces.

If there is anything else that I can do to fix things and regain your trust, please let me know.



Variations: Workplace Apologies to A Boss / Manager

These short additions can be used in conjunction with the letter above to further help tailor your apology. They cover some of the most common issues at work for which one needs to apologize.

Apology For a Mistake at Work

... I would never intentionally hurt the company or those around me who have shown nothing but support and encouragement since I first began working here. I am deeply saddened, and even devastated, by the consequences of my actions. I regret putting the company (or boss) in this awkward situation.

Please accept my sincere apology. I was distracted and my lack of attention to detail caused this situation.

I make no excuse, take full responsibility and promise you that this will never happen again. I only ask that you consider my overall performance and view this as the aberration I believe it to be...

Apology Letter to Boss for Poor Performance

... I could never have imagined myself demonstrating such a clear lack of respect towards you (or the company, department, group etc...) when I have been shown nothing but support and encouragement during my time here.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where I find myself today—in a situation that I created and for which I am solely responsible.

I want to personally apologize to you for my poor performance recently. I have been late for work and have generally not performed to my best abilities recently. For this I am deeply sorry and appreciate the patience you have shown towards me.

I will not make any excuses. I promise you that this will never happen again, that I've taken the necessary steps to ensure that it doesn't, and finally that I will only do my best work from this point on...

Apology Letter For Absence, Not Coming to Work

... I am disappointed in myself for being absent from work on __________ and not advising you beforehand. It was disrespectful and unprofessional.

I know that my absence caused all sorts of issues that were only exacerbated by my failing to advise you. I have let you down and I have let the company down, and for that I am truly sorry.

I will not make any excuses. I was wrong not to call ahead.

I promise you that next time I will advise you as soon as possible and help you find someone to cover my duties for the day. I feel very grateful to work in such a warm, supportive environment and can assure you that the lack of judgment I've demonstrated here will never happen again...

By including a breakdown with notes, you can see how easily this template for how to apologize to your boss can be modified to any situation.

Use the 'Notes' to guide you while writing your own letter and replace the specifics with your own situation (or some of the variations of workplace apologies that we highlight above).

Key Points For An Apology Letter To A Boss / Manager

Make sure that you cover all the points outlined in our template letter and noted in the 'Notes' column.

The order of the statements/points made is not important to your success. However, they all need to be included in your apology so your boss understands your genuine remorse for the incident, your acceptance of responsibility, and your commitment to preventing a recurrence.

Looking for something simpler than our template? Then check out our Apology Letter Toolkit ⇗ which has pre-written apology letters for not coming to work ⇗ along with other business-related scenarios. They're designed to simply copy and paste for ease of use.

Or, stay here on the main site and learn the basics of how to write an apology letter or how to craft the perfect apology email.

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