There are times when one or two of your employees might not be doing as well as expected or is not behaving according to the company’s code of conduct. During these times, there might be a need to start drafting a letter to warn your employees about this. Warning letters are typically written by supervisors or employers to employees who are not abiding by the rules of the company or are performing poorly in the company. Before these letters are handed out, a verbal warning or notice has already been given.
Big companies may already have warning letters stashed somewhere in their offices ready to be filled out with all the necessary details. However, small and new businesses might find it hard to draft a warning letter for the very first time.
If it’s the first time for you to write a warning letter, we are here to guide you through the process. We will also be discussing other things about warning letters including the common problems that call for the need of these letters, the content of the letter, and who are the primary people who should issue the letter.
Job Performance Warning Letter
One of the most common problems encountered in the workplace is poor employee performance. This letter will let the employee know what he/she needs to do in order to avoid getting terminated from the job.
Typically, warning letters are issued when behavioral and performance are encountered with an employee. Some of the common problems encountered in the workplace are the following:
- Attendance. Small and big companies will more or less experience having an employee or two who are fond of being absent or do not properly file for leaves.
- Employee Behavior. Inappropriate treatment toward colleagues, not following the appropriate dress code, and using company equipment for personal entertainment such as making use of social media fall into this category.
- Quality and Quantity of Output. The company’s profits all depend on the output of the employee. The employee must be able to balance quality and quantity at the same time as this is what is expected from him/her.
Sure enough, your employees are aware of these offenses as these are all stipulated in the job contract they have signed upon becoming an employee of the company. The warning letter you are issuing is meant to be a wake-up call for the employee to start striving better and review what has been agreed upon. Everyone knows that having their employees immediately terminated, especially if they have great potential, is very expensive. You just want to give them a little bit of push in order to help them succeed.
Attendance Warning Letter
This letter is commonly used by employers who want to remind their employees that attendance in the workplace matters. This letter should indicate the consequences regarding failure to becoming more consistent with attendance.
Who Issues Warning Letters?
It is common practice for the direct supervisors to be the ones to write and issue warning letters. This is because the direct supervisor is the one that works closely with the employee and is the one who sees the behavior and performance of the employee.
In most cases, there is no need to consult a lawyer. Lawyers are only deemed to be necessary for an employee warning notice if there are factors not stated in the employee handbook that need to be addressed or if the issue is too complicated to be handled. However, in most cases, lawyers are best consulted for times where a disciplinary action plan is in the works for a company.
An employee warning letter or employee warning form is considered to be a document that should be taken seriously. The tone should be serious and should give the impression that the issuing party is an authoritative figure.
The warning letter should outline the reasons why the letter is being issued and the specific action or behavior that is considered to be unacceptable in the premises of the workplace. Specificity is important both for the verbal and written warning to make a little room for any type of misunderstanding or misinterpretation. Depending on the severity of the issue, you should also mention what should happen if the trend continues or why there is a need for the employee’s contract to be terminated. There are a ton of termination contract samples available for your perusal should you be having a difficult time coming up with one.
Warning Letter Format
This is typically how a warning letter looks like. You can always refer to this document if you are in need of formatting details regarding warning letters.
Warning letters are urgent in nature as actions deemed to be unacceptable need to be corrected immediately. The format of these letters are pretty simple and are typically in block form or everything is aligned to the left of the letter. It includes the following elements:
- Date when the employee was notified.
- Employee details such as name and job title.
- Subject line, which will immediately let the employee know the purpose of the letter.
- Salutation, which usually goes as, “Dear [Name of Employee].”
- The body of the letter, which will specify the details such as date of the incident alongside a brief description of the incident, as well as the duration of the said warning. It will also include the resolutions to be taken and further actions to be followed should the behavior be deem unacceptable.
- Closing greeting such as “Sincerely,” “Truly yours,” or “Best regards.”
- Signature of issuing party.
It will also depend on you if you will provide a field for the employee’s signature as a means of letting the higher management know that the employee has understood everything that has been stated in the letter.
Here are a few more samples that you can refer to a wide variety of situations that may need an employee warning letter.
Sample Warning Letter
Notice how detailed and specific this warning letter is. It has all the details about the incident that happened, and it sounds authoritative.
Final Warning Letter
Final warning letters are issued to employees who continue to do the same offense post the prior warning letter. Should the employee still be doing the offense after issuance of the final warning, the employer is forced to terminate the employee and issue an employment termination letter.
HR Warning Letter
When it comes to employee conduct, it is common practice for the HR manager or director to take charge of issuing the warning letters. Typically, direct supervisors report the incident to the HR manager and he/she will be the one to draft the letter for the employee.
We are hoping that with the information you have gathered by reading this article and the samples we have presented, you will now be able to come up with a good warning letter to be used for different situations.
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