I would like to write a message to my boss to convey to him that I feel demotivated because I am not being appreciated for my work. At the same time I don't want to be rude to him. The points that I would to discuss with him are that:

  1. Last year I worked on a big project and rest of the team has been rewarded from their respective managers. I am the only one who did not get any reward from my manager.
  2. I have recently earned my professional certificate. I was waiting for salary adjustment, or at least to be rewarded like my other colleagues but I got nothing at all.
  3. I have participated in solving a big issue in the bank. I worked on it for almost two years and I did not receive any reward or even thank you message.
  4. Finally, my senior manger always underestimates our job and says that we only do checking and that's making me uncomfortable and demotivated.

I'd appreciate any help with writing a professional message about those points to him.

  • 62
    Don't write - talk. Nov 21, 2016 at 13:14
  • 4
    Do you have performance reviews? And don't use the word demotivated. Ask you boss what you can do / focus on to increase your performance?
    – paparazzo
    Nov 21, 2016 at 15:08
  • 7
    If you want a raise of any kind, you need to ask for it. It is rare to get automatic adjustments just for getting a certification.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 21, 2016 at 15:20
  • 12
    Don't tell your manager "I am demotivated". Nov 21, 2016 at 17:43
  • 4
    Why is everyone saying not to tell the manager he's demotivated? If I was the manager I would want to know if my subordinates were feeling demotivated and why so that I could correct the problem and increase productivity and moral.
    – spacetyper
    Nov 21, 2016 at 21:23

4 Answers 4


A face to face meeting is required instead of mail.

But in that meeting, go prepared with your achievements, what you did, what was appreciated by customers.

Do NOT take this meeting on the lines "My colleagues got rewarded but I didn't". Instead of comparing with your colleagues, highlight your own points. If you start comparing, narrative switches to "Everyone got it hence I want it". Instead, make it "I acheived this much hence I deserve it".

  • 17
    Why shouldn't he be comparing himself to colleagues who are in the same position as him yet are being rewarded differently based on the same criteria? I think it's absolutely reasonable to compare quantifiable work to one's colleagues and use that as justification for why one deserves to be rewarded equally or even more.
    – spacetyper
    Nov 21, 2016 at 21:20
  • 13
    @spacetyper, only as a side note—not as the primary line of reasoning.
    – Wildcard
    Nov 21, 2016 at 21:40
  • @spacetyper Manager can argue that "Quality of work was better in your colleague's deliverables" or "Your colleague completed tasks in less time" to which you can not argue... You are not the one to decide quality of colleague's/Peer's work... At least not in front of manager! We have a saying, "Even if hand holds something, Not all all fingers are same"!
    – Swanand
    Nov 21, 2016 at 21:48
  • 3
    @Swanand There is no point in quantitive comparisons of work vs rewards, but qualitatively if everyone else got something, then this is equivalent to stating "you are clearly the worst". I'd say it conveys even stronger message. This means you are so bad compared to the other you got nothing. There is a difference, between saying "Hey, John got 5% bonus but according to fantasy points I was 3% more productive" and "Everyone got something but I got nothing." I think this should be mentioned if not called on.
    – luk32
    Nov 22, 2016 at 1:11
  • 4
    @spacetyper Since he's not at management level, he has no idea what went into the decision of who to reward and what exact criteria were used. In general, it's unfavourable to compare oneself with peers, it often comes off as unprofessional. The only time you should look in your neighbour's bowl is to make sure they have enough. In the OP's situation, one should tell their boss that they're feeling undervalued and start negotiating working conditions based on their own personal achievements and merits. If the boss won't budge, it's time to look for a new job.
    – Cronax
    Nov 22, 2016 at 8:21

Plan a face to face meeting with your boss, and prepare accordingly.

An email will not allow for extended discussion and resolution. You should ask your boss for a face-to-face meeting to discuss about your expectations and your feelings about your work.

You have to prepare well ahead on several points :

  • What do you like in this company ? Starting the meeting with "I like this company and I want to stay there because [Reasons], but I begin to feel uncomfortable because [Reasons you wrote above]..." will be a better introduction than "Boss, I have a problem".

  • What are the right words to explain your problem ? You cannot just come at the interview with your heavy heart and let your emotions talk. You have to prepare a rational argumentation, starting with facts. I would advise you take some time in the weekend before the meeting to be sure that your argumentation will be convincing.

    Example for rewording your point 3 (I have participated in solving a big issue in the bank and worked on it for almost two years and I did not receive any thank you message or reward on that) => I have participated in solving a big issue in the bank. This was a two-year project, and I invested myself a lot for this project to succeed. However, I never received feedback from the project leader, which is problematic for me as I strive towards self-improvement and quality-delivery.

  • Can you see a short term solution ? Can you envision a long term solution ? Your boss, if he understands the problem, might ask you what solution you are expecting, as a negotiation basis. Prepare some potential solutions. You do not need to go too far in detail, you just have to show that a lot of reasonable measures can be implemented in the next week/month/semester.


A mail for something this important doesn't fit.

You must set a private face to face with your manager to handle this.

Of course you have to prepare arguments, this answer (and the others too) should give you enough information about how to prepare for it.


Although I generally agree that a face-to-face meeting's going to be required, framing it in advance with a polite and professional written statement of what you wish to discuss is usually helpful in my experience. It allows your manager time to consider your challenges and respond from a prepared position instead of potentially reacting defensively when "blindsided".

As the previous responders said, your proper preparation is essential. To go through your points individually:

Last year I have worked in a big project and all my other team they have been rewarded from their respective managers except me I did not get any reward from my manager. --> Ask your colleagues what (specific) achievements they were rewarded for? Can you demonstrate any similar accomplishments?

I have recently earned my professional certificate. I was waiting for salary adjustment or at least to be rewarded like my other colleges but all I did not get anything. --> It seems reasonable to ask to be rewarded in the same way as your other colleagues

I have participated in solving a big issue in the bank and worked on it for almost two years and I did not receive any thank you message or reward on that. --> That rings alarm bells for me. Big issues get sorted out FAST - if it drags on for two years then it doesn't sound like a big issue (assuming that you're not talking about a strategic item). When my team have a major problem I'm expecting to see a resolution measured in days. This may just mean that I've misunderstood your situation though!

Finally; my senior manger always do underestimate our job and say that you do only checking and that's make me uncomfortable and demotivated. --> Nasty culture, sorry to hear that. Can you offer your manager examples of this (ideally with supporting evidence)?

  • 1
    -1 I really don't think telling the boss what the issue is in advance will helpfully frame it. Instead the boss will have fears/concerns/make assumptions before you have a chance to communicate fully. Also, your second guessing about the "big issue" is unwarranted and unhelpful. Lots of very important things take two years to complete. Finally, you should not set out to prove that your senior manager is wrong! Examples of how they underestimate your job will not win you any favor. You need to focus on your positive contributions.
    – user45590
    Nov 22, 2016 at 8:59
  • Somewhat agree in that an 'ambush' meeting with manager should not happen. Not quite agreed that written statement is actually called for. A simple verbal request to discuss work concerns ought to be enough. Nov 23, 2016 at 1:32
  • @user2338816 I agree that a verbal request would be ok.
    – user45590
    Nov 23, 2016 at 8:57

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