#100things – Write an achievement email to your supervisor

When did you recently accomplish something great, which your supervisor should know about?

Did you tell them? Did you forward an email from someone else that explained the story? 

Like with every good communication, you need to be clear about what you want to achieve with such a communication.

You probably want to make sure that your supervisor recognizes achievements. This ensures, they play a role, when they choose someone for the next cool project, the next promotion, or the next pay increase. 

So how will you reach these goals? 

First, you need to understand what the goals of your supervisor are. He likely wants to look good in front of his supervisors, too. Help him and make it as easy as possible.

It is most easy, when your supervisor can just forward your email without adding a lot of additional words.

The STAR formula helps you to communicate your achievement. STAR stands for:

  • Situation, 
  • Task, 
  • Action, 
  • Result. 

Thus, start with the situation. What was the problem? Were there any specific hurdles? Be sure to not use any acronyms or codes, which people higher up in the organization may not understand. Clarify how the problem relates to the bigger goals of the organization. This links it back to the goals of your management too.

Second, explain what was needed to solve the problem. Why was that specifically hard, e.g. did it need to be done specifically fast or was the situation for some other reason very tricky? 

Third, you describe the action you took and possibly how your supervisors helped you with it, or enabled you to be effective. Be as specific as possible, why this was more than “just doing your job”. 

Finally, highlight the results. What was different because of your action? What might have happened otherwise? Speaking about avoiding losses can sometimes be more important than the gains. If you can directly link it to something measurable in terms of money or time – even better. But a great testimonial from a customer or business partner might be valuable as well. Especially if these are influential persons. 

Be as short as possible because people rarely read long emails and include the achieved results in your subject of the email. This will attract management to open the email, as it may otherwise be lost in a flood of emails in their inbox. 

Such an email helps your supervisor and makes it easy for him to forward it even higher up. 

Now do you have something to write about?

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