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.
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.
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.
- – 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.