What is a warning letter?
An employee warning letter is a memo or a written notice issued to the employee for informing him of his mistakes and wrongdoings or breach of company protocols at the workplace. It’s also an opportunity for the employee to present his side of the story. A warning letter to employee consists of the issue, an invitation to defend his actions, and consequences that may employee has to face in case he fails to justify his actions.
A warning letter to an employee is also known as a letter of reprimand. Warning letter to employees is mostly issued for poor performance, negligence, misconduct, carelessness in work, bad attitude, unprofessional behavior, unacceptable behavior, for absence without informing, unsatisfactory job performance, and poor customer service.
Employee Warning Letter Format
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When to issue a warning letter?
If you are a small startup or a big business house, you need to have order and discipline at the workplace. On average, every company loses a fraction of its profit and a lot of time managing the employees, performances, grievances, disputes, and consequences.
Most of the time you don’t have to be worried about the issues. A written warning letter is enough. But having a robust procedure and a strict disciplinary committee under the HR or the management is a must. At times you let go of the employees with just written warning letters. But some times you have to take strong disciplinary actions.
or In order to keep proper discipline at the workplace, employers/HR are supposed to take action against the guilty employees.
When they are hired, employees are expected to maintain:
- Proper discipline
- A proper code of conduct
- Proper attendance
- Perform the allocated tasks and duties on time
- maintain satisfactory performance
It’s imperative for the management to keep a check on non-performing, indisciplined employees. Even a small issue can turn out to be a huge problem for the management and the organization.
We have seen instances where once let off employees without warning have taken the company and the management for granted and that led to a bitter situation at the workplace. To avoid such a situation, it is advised to have a disciplinary committee headed by HR/Management.
Watch the Below Video for the Do’s and Don’ts before you issue a Warning Letter To Employee
When to issue a written warning letter to an employee?
If you find your employees violating company rules and regulations, sometimes a verbal warning is enough to keep them disciplined.
The first thing you must do is ask them to explain themselves. A little talk should do the job. Explain to them how things work at your organization.
If you must issue a written warning letter, you must do so in extreme cases only.
Issuing a warning letter for every small rule violation can create an unhealthy working environment. And you’ll be left with a bunch of unhappy employees.
However, it’s not ok to forgive an unacceptable behavior.
- Irregular attendance: Employees are not supposed to take unapproved leaves. If you find an employee doing that, you must talk to him first. If you still don’t find improvements. It’s time to issue a stern warning letter.
- Insubordination: every company follows a hierarchy system. Every person in the company is answerable to someone senior. Insubordination can negatively affect the company’s work culture.
- Using company properties or information for personal gains: this is a serious issue and must be dealt with accordingly. Issuing a warning letter might not be enough in this situation.
- Warning for poor performance: If you have a poor performing employee, you need to motivate him. Issuing a warning letter might not be helpful. Write a warning letter, only If you think the employee is doing it intentionally.
- Unethical behavior: Unethical behaviors can not be tolerated and must be dealt with.
- Bad customer service: A bad customer service can negatively affect the company’s reputation. The employees are expected to provide great customer service and uphold the company’s reputation.
- Creating ruckus at the workplace: Creating ruckus at the workplace can not be tolerated. You must issue a stern warning letter in this case.
- Not meeting desired targets: not meeting desired KRA’s can be sorted with a little motivation and working with employees to understand the challenges and solutions.
- Harassing the co-workers: harassing a co-worker is a serious crime and the employee is eligible for strong disciplinary action.
- Leaking the company information to outsiders: leaking company secrets to outsiders is an act of theft. The company must take disciplinary action against such employees.
- For reporting to work in intoxicated conditions (consuming alcohol at the workplace): reporting to work in intoxicated conditions or consumption of alcohol or drugs at the workplace can not be tolerated. The employer must take disciplinary action against such employees.
- Furnishing wrong information at the time of job interview or later: employers aren’t supposed to make false claims or submit forged documents at the time of interview of joining or later. The company must take disciplinary action against such employees.
- For theft at the workplace or at a client’s place: Stealing something from a client or workplace can not be tolerated. It’s a crime and must be dealt with.
How to write an employee warning letter?
Simple, the following are the important parts of an employee warning letter.
- Details of the warning letter issuing authorities
- Details of the employee to whom the warning letter is being issued
- Inform about the breach of the protocol or the issue
- Invite to defend his actions
- Inform of consequences and further procedures
- The actions employee needs to take
Start the letter with a suitable subject line for the warning letter like “ warning letter for the negligence of duty” or “show cause notice for alleged unprofessional behavior”
Then move on to the details of the warning letter issuing authority. A warning letter from an unauthorized person holds no weight in terms of its legality. To make safeguard its interests in the court of law the company must have an authorised person or a disciplinary committee to issue such notices.
Next comes the details of the guilty employee, the company must ensure that the memo is addressed to the right employee. The memo must include the employee’s company ID, designation, department, and other necessary details in the warning letter.
Next is informing about the issue to the employee. A warning letter to an employee must include a detailed description of the company policy violated and it’s referencing. The employee warning letter also must include a copy of the company HR policy.
Next is offering an opportunity for the employee to defend his actions or provide justifications. The employee must be given every option available at his/her disposal to defend himself.
And now its the time for informing the employee of further procedures. If he just needs to submit an explanation or face a disciplinary committee or cooperate with the investigation into the matter. Or informing him of the next meeting scheduled to discuss the issue.
Warning letter to habitual offenders
For some employees, just one letter of warning is not enough to improve. In such cases, the company has to issue stern warning letters and put them on probation until they improve. The company is free to take required actions against such employees. Including firing from the job or legal action as required.
The employer/HR is supposed to warn such employees as and when required.
We have compiled a list of warning letters you need.
SIMPLE WARNING LETTER
STERN WARNING LETTER
Warning letter for irregular attendance
Download sample warning letter to employee for negligence
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