Want to Draft a Warning Letter to Employee? Get Free HR Templates Now! - Empxtrack
warning letter to employee

Are you looking to create your first warning letter to employee or want an official communication mechanism in your HR department? This blog shares some frequently used warning letter templates that you can copy and use immediately. Further, we have explained the entire process that you must use to transform employees’ behavior.

Let us first understand why we need to issue a warning letter to employees.

What calls for a warning letter?

A warning letter to an employee is a formal HR process to record misconduct, a disciplinary issue or poor performance and discuss it with the employee. The letter also helps in setting expectations for future behavior and may be a precursor to termination.

A warning letter is a formal communication mechanism that allows HR managers to take control of the situation and take necessary actions that follow the Company Policy.

When verbal communication between an employee and their supervisor (or HR Manager) do not lead to the desired changes, a written warning letter helps in highlighting the situation and recording the gaps. The process helps in ensuring the following

  • Documenting a warning through a formal letter ensures that the employees understands the matter is serious and needs timebound improvement
  • Storing written communication in an employee file allows easier access if the behavior is repeated
  • Official warning letters to employees can be used legally if termination (or other legal action) must be carried out

What to do while issuing a warning letter to employee

The following guidelines should be followed when you want to issue a warning letter to an employee. By adhering to these, you will ensure that the process has the desired impact

  • Setup a time and location with the employee where you will discuss the issue. This should preferably be done by sending an email to the employee or a written request (if the employee is not on email). Follow it up with a phone call to ensure the employee understands the importance of the meeting.
  • It is advisable to discuss the warning letter in a formal setting such as a meeting room, your office or a supervisor’s cabin and never in public places such as restaurants or company cafeteria.
  • Always create the warning letter on your company’s letterhead.
  • Print two copies of the warning letter, one for the employee and the other for office records.
  • Start the discussion by sharing why you have setup the meeting and discuss the issue with the employee citing specific areas which were of concern. It is better to be prepared with in depth details of the issue since the employee will often try to justify their behavior.
  • Discuss the specific outcomes that are expected from the employee in a specific timeline.
  • Document the employee’s thoughts (if any) on the company copy of the warning letter.
  • Share a signed copy of the warning letter with the employee and get the signature of the employee on the company copy. File the letter in employee records.

Here are three warning letter templates that you can copy to a word document and issue to employees as the need arises. You will need to fill in the data that is applicable to the specific situation by filling in replaceable data that is indicated between angular brackets (< >)

Warning Letter: Discipline Issue

Note: This warning letter is to be issued to employees in case they have violated key sections in the company policy document. Examples include harassment and violence.

Date: <The date when the letter was generated>

Name: <Full Name of employee>
Address: <Address of office location>

Re: Warning for Disciplinary Incident

Dear <First name of the Employee>,

This letter is to serve an official warning to you for the incident that happened on <Date of Incident>. We were informed about <Describe in brief the Incident>. This kind of misconduct is not expected in the workplace and is against Company Policy <mention the name of policy, page number, section no, para number, or serial number in the company policy document>.

Our policy and guidelines are designed with a goal to make the work environment and company culture open and safe for all employees at all levels. We expect every employee to respect and follow these guidelines in order to encourage a collaborative and performance oriented work culture.

Since you have been found to be violating the rules, we are hereby putting you on a warning period <Mention the duration of warning Period>. During this period, your behavior will be monitored.

Any re-occurrence of the violation will ensure strict action against you that may be followed by

(a) Suspension without pay or

(b) Termination without prior notice.

We continue to believe that you are a valuable part of our organization and expect you to show immediate improvements. Looking forward to seeing positive outcomes of this discussion.

If you need of my assistance or have queries, please feel free to reach out to me anytime. You are requested to sign a copy of this letter to indicate your acknowledgement of the discussion.

Sincerely,

<Your Name> <Employee Name>
<Title> <Employee Title and Department>
<Date> <Date>
<Signature> <Employee Signature>
<Any notes and follow up action>

Warning Letter: Performance Issues

Note: This employee warning letter documents issues related to employee performance and is a formal mechanism to indicate that the employee needs to achieve their goals, or they may face termination.

Date: <The date when the letter was generated>

Name: <Full Name of employee>
Address: <Address of office location>

Re: Warning for Poor Work Performance

Dear <First name of the Employee>,

This letter serves a written warning to you for not meeting your objectives as outlined in your <Appointment Letter / Job Description / Prior performance appraisal / Goals as agreed between you and your supervisor>.

This letter confirms our discussion held on <date> regarding your below-par performance.

As intimated by <the management / your supervisor>, we are putting you on a Corrective Action Plan commencing from < mention date>. This plan is being introduced to bring your performance up to an acceptable standard, considering your capabilities and requirements of your job role.

Each member in our company is expected to contribute to the best of their abilities and meet the objectives laid out in their job role. Hence, we would like you to immediately improve your performance and meet expectations of your supervisor and company management.

We believe that you have the potential to be a meaningful contributor and would like you to work with commitment and resolve.

If you need of my assistance or have queries, please feel free to reach out to me anytime. You are requested to sign a copy of this letter to indicate your acknowledgement of the discussion and also document specific outcomes in the notes section below

Sincerely,

<Your Name> <Employee Name>
<Title> <Employee Title and Department>
<Date> <Date>
<Signature> <Employee Signature>
<Any notes and follow up action>

Warning Letter: Frequent absence

Note: This warning letter to employee is to be issued in cases where employees are frequently absent or do not follow their time schedules.

Date: <The date when the letter was generated>

Name: <Full Name of employee>
Address: <Address of office location>

Re: Warning for Irregular Attendance

Dear <First name of the Employee>,

This letter is to serve a written warning to you for being irregular at work in <specify period>. We have observed the following issues. <Remove the non-applicable items>

  • You are taking too many leaves without prior approval of your supervisor
  • You are late at work or often leave prior to the close of office hours
  • You do not spend required hours in office
  • You do not conform to your shift timings

It has come to my knowledge that your supervisor has already discussed this with you multiple times but there are no improvement seen so far. Please consider this letter as an official warning from the management of our company.

Office is a place where your presence matters. Every employee (including you) has work targets and responsibilities and unexpected absence of any team member hampers the productivity and eventual outcomes that everyone is working for. Irregular attendance also affects the team morale and company discipline.

We are putting you on a warning period of <specify duration> and your attendance will be observed closely. If you continue to violate these policies and do not show changes in your behavior, the company reserves the right to terminate your employment without any further notice.

If you need of my assistance or have queries, please feel free to reach out to me anytime. You are requested to sign a copy of this letter to indicate your acknowledgement of the discussion and also document specific outcomes in the notes section below

Sincerely,

<Your Name> <Employee Name>
<Title> <Employee Title and Department>
<Date> <Date>
<Signature> <Employee Signature>
<Any notes and follow up action>

Concluding Thoughts

  • Linking a disciplinary issue with an online Performance Improvement Plan helps you ensure that feedback is timely and remedial action can be taken.
  • If your employee responds well and shows improvement, don’t forget to follow up with positive feedback and words of encouragement.
  • It will be helpful to manage the entire “warning letter to employee” process in your HRMS to allow standardization of templates and an easier generation process.

Author Bio

Tushar Bhatia
Tushar Bhatia is CEO-founder of cloud-based global HR platform Empxtrack. His key goal is to help companies streamline their HR function, reduce costs and make employees engaged & productive. He writes on various HR related issues and trends that include strategic hr, performance management, best practices for recruitment, employee engagement and retention etc. On an average his blogs are read by about 2 Million professionals annually.

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