IceHrm Looking for an HR software for Your Company?
Masha Masha is a content developer at IceHrm. You can contact her at masha[at]icehrm.org.

Crafting Effective Employee Warning Letters: Templates & Tips

  Reading Time:

Misconduct and negligence by employees in the workplace can sometimes have significant consequences. This can result in verbal or written warnings and even termination.

Companies may find themselves in a situation where an employee violates the rules, misbehaves or commits misconduct. Employers and HR managers must maintain a positive attitude towards the person and the situation in order to take the necessary measures.

Every company has a different way of dealing with employee violations. And the protocol changes depending on the severity of the misconduct.

In this blog we explain what a warning is, what it aims to do and what needs to be taken into account when writing it, and show some patterns

Meaning of the warning letter

A warning is a formal document written by an employer to an employee who has not met the employer's expectations regarding his or her behavior or performance at work. This tells the employee that their actions or behavior are unacceptable and that further action may be taken if there is no improvement.

In a written warning, the employer and employee agree on the problematic behavior and the measures to be taken to correct it. Below are some common cases in which an employer may issue a warning to an employee:

  • Frequent late arrivals/absences
  • Negligence and misconduct
  • Unauthorized vacation
  • Disobedience
  • Violation of social media guidelines
  • Violence or harassment in the workplace
  • Violations of the company's code of conduct
  • Poor performance, etc.

The purpose of the warning is not to stop employees from working in your company. Rather, a positive working environment should be created. It is also about behavior change, discipline, awareness, clear communication, documentation, clarification and justification.

  • Document the employee's misconduct or poor performance and the consequences of their actions
  • Give the employee clear feedback about the nature and severity of the problem
  • Set clear and realistic expectations for improvement and a time frame for achieving these expectations
  • Give the employee an opportunity to correct their behavior or performance before more serious disciplinary action is taken
  • Protecting the employer from legal liability in the event of termination or other legal action

Things to consider when writing a warning to employees

1.Language and tone: Use formal writing with a professional tone that emphasizes the seriousness of the situation. However, be careful that the words do not intimidate the employee. Your goal is to change the employee's behavior at the end of the day.

2.Structure: The format or structure of the warning letter is crucial. The best way to structure them is as follows:

  • Date of warning
  • Name of the person issuing the warning with address (usually on the company‚Äôs letterhead)
  • Regarding
  • Name of the employee
  • Violation details section
  • Reasons why this situation is considered a violation of company policy
  • Disciplinary actions the company will take
  • Your signature

3.Content: Get to the point. Long sentences without meaning or purpose or those that repeat what has already been said are of no use. Shorter letters have the greatest impact. Go straight into the details without evoking undue emotion. Don't forget to include the date to increase credibility.

4.Proofreading: It is very important to proofread the letter before handing it over to the employee to avoid later conflicts due to small errors. Make sure the letter is sent to the right person with the correct details. There can be no room for mistakes.

5.Acknowledgment: Once the letter is delivered, you must confirm to the employee that they have actually received it. Ask the employee to sign the letter if it is a physical letter or an acknowledgment if it is an email.

The following templates can be used to flag an employee's behavior as inappropriate, emphasize the severity, and highlight the length of monitoring. You can edit the templates as needed.

6 warning templates for employees

Template 1- For poor performance

Date

Full name of employer:

Office address:

Subject: Warning for poor performance

Dear (employee's name),

Your performance does not always meet our company's standards. You do not meet assigned deadlines, do not deliver quality work and do not achieve your individual goals.

This letter serves as your first official warning and informs you of the consequences if you do not improve. You will be given a period of (allowable weeks/months) to take the actions listed and improve your unsatisfactory performance.

(Tasks)

If you ignore this warning or do not improve within the time limit, we may have to take more severe action, including suspension and termination.

Please note that this letter is not intended to discourage you, but to understand what your problems are and how we can help you achieve your goals. We are confident you will come out better on the other side.

However, you may contact me directly if you wish to appeal this decision or discuss anything related to this letter.

Best regards,

(Surname)

(Signature)

Template 2- In case of absence from duty

Date:

Full name of employer:

Office address:

Subject: Absence warning

Dear (name of employee),

You know your attendance is not up to par. Your manager verbally warned you several times to improve, but you failed.

We take attendance seriously and expect you to do the same from now on. Your absence has a negative impact on your individual work and the productivity of the team. Each employee has a number of responsibilities and tasks to fulfill. Inability to achieve goals affects team morale and net worth.

We have also learned that you take vacation without prior notice and often leave much earlier than planned, even if there is still work to be done.

This letter is intended to serve as your first official warning and to inform you of the consequences if you do not improve. You will be given a deadline of (weeks/months) to improve your attendance.

If you ignore this warning or do not improve your attendance within the allotted time, we may have to take more severe action, up to and including suspension and termination.

Please contact me if you would like to discuss this letter or appeal any of the decisions mentioned. That being said, we are here to inform and support you if personal issues have led to this situation.

Best regards,

(Surname)

(Signature)

Template 3: For unprofessional behavior

Date:

Full name of employer:

Office address:

Subject: Warning for a disciplinary matter

Dear (name of employee),

It has come to our attention that you (employee's misconduct) committed misconduct on the (respective) day/event. We would like to emphasize that this behavior is neither expected nor tolerated in our company.

We will issue you a (permanent) warning with immediate effect. During this time, your behavior will be closely monitored.

Please take this warning seriously; We will not tolerate violations of company policies. We expect you to apologize (in case of fighting/harassment)/improve your behavior and provide a written apology within three days.

If you do not apologize or make the mistake again, we will be forced to take more severe action, including but not limited to suspension and termination.

Every employee is valuable to us, and you are our capital. That's why we want you to improve. Please contact me directly if you would like to appeal this decision or discuss anything else related to this letter.

Best regards,

(Surname)

(Signature)

Template 4 - Warning to employees about vacation without information

Date:

Full name of employer:

Office address:

Subject: Warning for taking vacation without information

Dear (name of employee),

I am writing to address your unauthorized absence from work without prior authorization. It was found that you were absent from [start date] to [end date] without providing an explanation or obtaining leave authorization.

We consider this behavior to be a serious violation of company policy and detrimental to our operations. We expect all employees to adhere to our attendance policies and communicate any absences in advance. Otherwise, our workflow will be disrupted and productivity will be affected.

You are hereby receiving a formal warning. Please provide a written explanation for your absence within (number of days, usually 4 to 6 days) from the date of the warning. Failure to do so may result in further disciplinary action.

We hope this serves as a reminder of the importance of adhering to company policies. If you have any concerns, please feel free to discuss them with me.

Best regards,

(Surname)

(Signature)

Template 5 Warning to employees for misconduct

Date:Full name of employer:

Office address:

Subject: Warning for misconduct

Dear (employee name),

I am writing to inform you that your recent behavior on [incident date] constitutes misconduct that violates our company policies.

To better understand the expectations we place on our employees, please read our company's Code of Conduct and Policies. We value every team member and believe everyone should contribute to a positive and respectful work environment. This letter serves as an official warning. Further misconduct may result in severe disciplinary action, including termination.

Please adhere to company policies to maintain a positive work environment.

To the best,

(Surname)

(Signature)

Template 6: Warning to the employee for negligence

Date:Full name of employer:

Office address:

Subject: Warning for negligence

Dear (name of employee),

I am writing to address a recent incident of negligence in your duties that occurred on [date of incident]. Your failure to commit [specific details of negligence] is very concerning and has a direct impact on our operations and the productivity of our team.

This letter is intended to serve as a formal request. Ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future by exercising care and responsibility in your role. Further negligence may result in disciplinary action that will adversely affect your employment status with the Company.

Please take immediate corrective action and demonstrate a proactive attitude towards your responsibilities. Your cooperation is essential to maintaining our quality standards and maintaining a positive work environment.

To the best,

(Surname)

(Signature)

To them

When writing a warning letter, always offer support, clarification and help with any questions you may have to ensure you hear their side of the story. Don't jump to conclusions or get personal.

Its goal is to improve the person's performance, attendance and behavior. To ensure that performance-related errors don't result in uneventful reprimands, use a performance management system like IceHrm. It records all goals, sub-goals and targets that must be met monthly, quarterly or annually. With IceHrm you can't go wrong when assessing your employees' performance.

Addressing misconduct is crucial for maintaining a positive work environment. Utilize tools like IceHrm for seamless performance management and improvement.

Interview Scheduling: Guide & Best Practices

In the competitive landscape of talent acquisition, effective interview scheduling is pivotal. This guide offers best practices for HR professionals....

IceHrm   Create your IceHrm, installation today.