Dear All,
This is a different kind of case to handle for HR.
On 4th Jan 22 had given a reminder about the document submission to the employee, even though nobody submitted it till the last day extend it to 3 more days but still no - hence we dropped a peaceful ultimate reminder to them & received this mail from one of the employees:

Please find the attached documents as per the above list. It took me some time to submit the documents as some of the documents were not available on my side and also because of my busy work schedule.

As a professional, I have never received this type of peaceful reminder before this, so I am unable to trace the positive meaning of the mail. I think our organization has a very open environment to discuss such things if the employee has forgotten such requirements. Correct me if I am wrong.!


How do I respond to this kind of mail, Request all seniors here to guide for same?

From India, Pune
Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Labour Law Advisor And Legal Consultant
Insolvency N Gst Professional
Workplace Assessment And Training
Mohamed Munawar
Advocate And Hr Executive
+1 Other

Dinesh Divekar

Dear member,

You have written: "On 4th Jan 22 had given a reminder about the document submission to employee, even though nobody submitted it till the last day extend it to 3 more days but still no hence dropped a peaceful ultimate reminder to them"

If you wrote a reminder on 4th Jan 22 (or 4th Jan 23?), then when you had sent the first communication? Or 4th Jan 23 itself was the first communication?

Anyway, your query is on how to give a reply to the employee. From the email of the employee, he appears to be headstrong. Rather than regretting for the delay, he is seeking an explanation from you. Anyway, the draft could be as below:


Dear _______,

Greetings for the day.

This email is on the clarification you have sought on the documents to be provided to the HR Department. The chronological order of the correspondence on this subject is as below:

a) 4th Jan 2023: - A communication on the subject was initiated. The last date to submit the documents was _______

b) 7th Jan 2023: -Since the documents were not received, the date was extended by three more days.

c) 10th Jan 2023: - As the documents were not received even during the extended period, a peaceful reminder had to be sent per force. "Peaceful" means a "gentle" reminder. Considering the busy schedule of the team members' gentleness was maintained.

d) ___ Jan 2023: - Received the documents along with the clarification email.

The above-mentioned sequence shows that the cause of the reminder was the delay in the submission of the documents or even the non-communication itself. Furthermore, the submission of the documents is a routine administrative matter. These do not have a positive or negative connotation but these are neutral. Fulfilment of the administrative requirements demands pursuing with the individual concerned. Hence the reminder.

Valuing professionalism is the hallmark of _______ (name of your company). Completing documentation within a defined time limit is also a part of professionalism for the HR department. I hope you will agree with me that professionalism demands doing timely activities timely, communicating timely and above all taking care of not only one's time but colleagues' time as well.

With the receipt of the documents and the clarification given above, let us close the matter and let us proceed with fruitful activities.


_______ (your name)


Caveats: - These are as below:

a) Your email was not so clear on the dates. Change the dates as per the requirement.

b) The language used in the reply is assertive. I have tried to give it back to the employee as much as he has given it to you. However, the choice of words is your call. The reply will depend on how much the HR department is valued in your company. In many companies, the HR department is given step-brotherly treatment. The technical departments always enjoy the upper hand. If you belong to this category, then just write a one-line reply that "thanks for submitting the documents. With the receipt of the reply the matter is closed now.".


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore

My advice would be to ignore it and not get into a slanging match with the employee. It is not worth your time and energy - and you will not win.

As for being "cheeky", that is a moot point. Perhaps a tad impolite at best.

Next time you require information from staff, describe exactly what you want, when you want it by, and the consequences of not providing the information in a timely manner.

Moral of the story, DO NOT leave things open ended, nor subject to interpretation. SPELL IT OUT CLEARLY but in a calm and pleasant manner, that invites co-operation not confrontation.

From Australia, Melbourne

Ignore the wordings.Just acknowledge receipt of documents and move on.
Use of the word peaceful has given chance for interpretation of different kind.
No point entering into word battles, if the requirement has been complied with.

From India, Pune
Dinesh Divekar

For Nathrao:


For a while, I too felt to give the same advice. However, occasionally HR must demonstrate his/her assertiveness also. The employee in question was late in the submission of the documents. Far from regretting the delay, with open defiance, he is questioning the logic of the reminder. If the headstrongness of these persons is ignored, they could get emboldened further.

In every company, there are key sections or departments. People from these departments have a superiority complex. This exaggerated sense of self-worth is counterproductive to develop a healthy organisational culture. Hence my suggestion for a confident and self-assuring reply from HR.


Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Hello, I want hr policies for manufacturing company, if anyone help me,
From India, Rajkot

As per the majority of the comments mentioned by the professionals above, my view is also same acknowledge on mail with a positive response and move on instead of wasting your energy in these things and demotivating the employees due to your actions. Atleast, one employee have reverted you back and have made efforts to arrange for documents and you are thinking of sending a hard mail to him as well which will be wrong in my view.

Treating employees as an asset of the company is a good way to motivate them.

From India, New Delhi
Suresh Rathi

I agree with Mr.Divekar.
Reply to the mail should be given --as per me.
Submission of documents has nothing to do with busy or otherwise schedule.
If no reply is given, I suspect, the employee will some day shoot himself in the foot, as he may keep on shooting such mails till a time comes that he is made to realise, faultline in his attitude , with consequences .

From India, Delhi
Mohamed Munawar

For Suresh Rathi:

Sir, In my short experience dealing with employees in HR and party to arguements in court cases, I am of the opinion that the word "peaceful" used by the HR has irritated the employee. According to the employee, he must be thinking that the HR is planning to resort to non-peaceful means in future if not complied with. The word peaceful along with the underlying threat has stirred his Ego and he will be ready for an e-mail battle with the HR. The employee probably having a higher role in his department and his importance to the company's performance will also give him a feeling of superiority to question HR.
While i agree to what you have said that such employees if goes unchecked will eventually shoot himself in the foot either in this company or in a different environment, I am also of the opinion that long gone are the days we have the duty to correct his behaviour for his own wellbeing.

An email reply thanking him for the documents sent after the delay, along with a clarification saying 'gentle reminder' is what was intended instead of using peaceful reminder will most probably cool both sides and conclude this issue. It is never worth fighting such types of battle particularly when it leads to huge loss of time and possible rivalry in the future. Compliance and maintaining friendly working relation would be a win win.

Any suggestions to my post is welcomed.

From India, Trivandrum
Suresh Rathi

Mr.Munawar, There are few grey areas in the situation , hence can not comment. You are welcome to your views. Regards
From India, Delhi

If you are knowledgeable about any fact, resource or experience related to this topic - please add your views.

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