These are required to be given when an employee leaves the company. In the olden days there were no problems giving a reference sometimes masking certain shortfalls. It is not uncommon to give a glowing reference to a troublesome employee to get rid of him.
However, these days there are issues of litigation in the extreme for making a false claim. Equally an employee may take the employer to court and in this aspect even CAB has to act in favour of the client and they are not required to know both sides of the case. These have put strain on the part of the person required to give a reference and may play safe and not raise any contentious issues at all.
It is always a pleasure to give a reference to a very good employee, even though he/she is leaving for better career or pastures, which one should never stop. Equally, loaded comments or using pun should be avoided, even though they used to bring a smile while reading.
The classic example was, when one Mr Jones was a skiver and the employer could not get any work done by him, the employer used a pun and wrote,
“ He would be a very lucky person to have Mr Jones working for him”. During these days of political correctness such beauty in expressions is lost forever.
When giving reference it is better to be
- Very formal and it is customary to give it in typed document;
- Always date the letter;
- Address to the person in the organisation – either by Title or name if known – use surnames only – never first names;
- Give the full address and post code;
- Give a reference – as Re: so and so – name of person to whom reference is sought;
- Close the message with ‘Yours faithfully – if the name of the person is not known; Yours sincerely – if surname is known’;
- The body of the references is only given for a select few employees. For other staff the message given below could be modified as required.
“To whom It may concern
I have known Ms …… for nearly (so many) years and she joined as a Receptionist but quickly learnt the ropes. She is good in dealing with patients and does not lose her cool when intimidated by some patients.
She is good in computing and does not make errors in typing or in coding. She is adept in dealing with colleagues, junior staff, patients, public and her superiors – GPs and Partners. She is extremely competent and thinks on her feet. She had in certain cases deputized for Senior Receptionist in SR’s absence. The jobs are safe with her in terms of completion on time and quality of work. She needs minimal or no supervision.
We would be extremely sorry to see her leave”.
9.4.2 A competent nurse
“To Whom It May Concern
I have known MS, of for nearly (so many) years. She has been Practice Nurse in our surgery helping out in the two split surgeries in (say the area of the country).
She is very methodical, thorough and heavily focused on patient care. She strictly follows the nursing protocols to give the best medical care. She is self-motivated and totally committed to the surgery and patient care. She exudes considerable skills and aptitude and is extremely self-disciplined.
She seeks to improve her skill continually by attending various courses with the sole aim of improving her service to the patients. She is skilful in communicating and able to deal with all ethnic and cultural groups, young and old.
She also has a special talent to deal with difficult patients. She gets on well with the GP’s, receptionists and all support staff. She is a good team player.
I have no hesitation in stating that she will do only too well in the course that she is planning to undertake shortly.
We all would be extremely sorry to see her leave us”.
9.4.3 Practice Manager
(Used He when it should be He or She; change, as needed)
“PMgr joined us …………… and he is a very valued member of the practice. He has flair in dealing with the staff, partners, patients, HA, PCT and other outside Personnel.
He has built a good team of staff and reduced the staff turnover. He has a sound appreciation of the New Contract and able to deal with PCT on payments due for the surgery.
He has improved the working and the atmosphere of the practice significantly. He is very focused on the financial aspects of the practice. He is pleasant and able to communicate effectively with all personnel.
We all would be extremely sorry to see him leave us”.