11 HR Warning Letter Templates


At work, you may have received warning letters or possibly known people who did. This is generally a fairly serious issue if a necessary one. After all, it is necessary from time to time to have one’s attention called if there are any issues in their work performance. You should keep in mind that this is meant as a measure to maintain discipline and professionalism in the workplace.

These work warning letters can take different forms, depending on what it is that needs to be brought to the offender’s attention. So if you need to make these letters, you should know now that there are templates for different situations, such as for performance warning letters or attendance warning letters, along with others. Of course, you may also need some more knowledge concerning how these letters operate to be absolutely certain that you are indeed using them correctly.

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Basic Warning Letter Templates

Sample Warning Letter for Poor Work Performance

sample warning letter for poor work performance in the company 1 788x1020 personnel.wv.gov

Letter of First and Second Warning Template Free Download

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What Offenses Merit Writing HR Warning Letters?

As you might be able to tell from different warning letter examples, there are a number of offenses that merit sending and receiving warnings from human resources. Being that it is the HR department’s job to maintain discipline and morale among the workforce, it is only natural that the job also includes making these letters to bring such infractions to the attention of their perpetrators. In any case, some things that would be grounds to write such letters yourself would include:

Chronic Tardiness

Chronic tardiness on part of employees can be a more serious matter than one might expect, which is why late warning letters would be a useful tool for any human resources manager. After all, the company expects its employees to arrive on time, and not to do so erodes productivity. Besides that, being able to arrive on time consistently is a basic requirement for maintaining discipline among employees, hence the necessity of sending letters to bring such matters to latecomers’ attention.


Absenteeism is arguably an even more serious matter than tardiness. At worst, one may take such actions as indicative of insubordination, or some similar serious offense. Attendance warning letters would naturally be a useful tool for this situation, as this is definitely a matter that would need to be addressed and rectified as quickly as possible. After all, no matter the precise reasons, absenteeism is taking advantage of the company’s time and resources, which sets a bad precedent for everyone, to say nothing of what it costs in time and resources.

Poor Behavior

Another important issue to deal with is poor behavior on part of one’s employees that would necessitate behavior warning letters being sent. After all, part of HR’s responsibilities is maintaining employee morale. If there are elements in the office that disrupt the workforce’s morale and performance as a whole, then they would need to be dealt with before the problem escalates. Warning letters would make for excellent tools here, as many of these cases may be dealt with without causing such escalation.

Poor Performance

Poor performance on part of a company’s employees is always an issue that needs to be deal with, even if the issue does not have malicious roots. Your job may involve having to write business warning letters to poor performers, even in cases that do not involve misconduct of any kind. After all, part of an HR manager’s job would include helping employees with issues so as to help improve their performance. The job does not always entail punishment, as you may even be called upon to help employees find out how to work more efficiently and productively.

Disciplinary Meeting Letters

Notice of Disciplinary Meeting

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Employee Disciplinary Meeting Letter

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Staff Warning Letter

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HR Warning Letter Templates

Work Delay Warning Letter Template

work delay warning letter template 1 788x1020 ncat.edu

Work Performance Warning Letter Template

work performance warning letter template 1 788x1020 sph.unc.edu

Poor Staff Performance Warning Letter

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Basic Functions of HR Warning Letters

Every kind of letter arguably fulfills certain functions related to their main purpose, whatever that may be. You might be able to see this in other kinds of official letters. In the case of job warning letters, many of those functions have to do with the fact that they are meant to convey warnings to the workforce. Some of those functions do include:


Practically all kinds of official letters, not only official warning letters, are meant to basically notify their recipients of some kind of fact. You can also see this in examples like promotion letters or termination letters. In the case of warning letters, perhaps their most basic function is to simply inform their recipients that there is some kind of problem with their performance or attitude that merits adjustment. This is common to all warning letters, regardless of their specific functions or formats, as they universally need to bring such matters to the attention of recipients to even begin making any changes.


The one function that may most come to mind when thinking of warning letters is their nature as tools for reprimand. After all, it is not quite enough for the letter to simply bring problems to a recipient’s attention. There are admittedly some cases where that may suffice, but there definitely needs to be an air of reprimand to the letter so as to make the recipient aware that their recent behavior has been unacceptable. The point can be made more powerful if you were to take the time to state some of the implications of the unacceptable behavior, the better to ensure that it does not happen again.


Some types of warning letters, such as meeting letters, also serve to provide information to their recipients. After all, for your part, you would want to take steps to address the problem in the first place. That entails certain disciplinary measures, which you would need to communicate to your employees via your warning letters. This is especially the case in very serious cases, as you would need to take extra measures to ensure that such behavior does not happen again.


For the sake of fairness, your warning letters should generally include the consequences of any further infractions, up to termination of employment. This can be an element of all kinds of warning letters, especially final warning letters, at which point your patience would likely be very limited. This can serve as a warning so as to bring wrongdoers to heel, or at least put things into perspective. After all, while you should make every effort to salvage your employees, there will also come a point where you can no longer spend any more time attempting to do so.


Part of any rehabilitation process includes occasional reminders of what expectations you may have from your employees. This can help to reinforce any disciplinary methods you may be using, as well as remind employees of what they need to avoid so as to improve their behavior. Your letters may also remind employees of specific infractions so as to make it easier to pinpoint exactly what behavior needs to be addressed so as to avoid such problems in the future.

Attendance Warning Letters

Late Attendance Warning Letter Template

late attendance warning letter template 2 788x1020 ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

Behavior Warning Letters

Bad Behavior Warning Letter Template

bad behavior warning letter template 33 788x1114 nhsbsa.nhs.uk

Employee Behavior Warning Letter Template

employee behavior warning letter template 1 788x1020 hr.ucdavis.edu

Tips for Writing HR Warning Letters

When you have to make different documents, there are always some tips you may elect to take advantage of to be sure that you are making them properly. In the case of professional warning letters, there are some guidelines that can ensure that your letters are properly effective. This is especially important considering that disciplinary matters are always something to be taken seriously.

Always be specific.

When making letters, particularly warning letters, it always pays to be specific, especially if you have to refer to any past actions or disciplinary actions. This helps to both bring such matters to the attention of your recipient, as well as make it unambiguously clear that specific actions need to be done concerning their behavior.

Remember to be proportionate.

As someone in a position of authority, it is important that you be seen as proportionate according to the current issue’s gravity. After all, you do not write staff warning letters stating that someone is down to their last chance for something like one unexplained absence. While some offenses demand swift, immediate action, it is important to know when to moderate your responses as needed.

Remember to include your employees’ rights.

Any employee warning letters you make should also take care to include what rights your employees possess so as to make them aware of those rights. After all, if you intend to call an employee to answer for some kind of infraction, you need to give them the chance to explain themselves or bring a companion or legal advisor. This serves to come up with more equitable arrangements with your employees so as to come to a fair conclusion.

Use the correct templates at all times.

If you do intend to use templates to help you with your writing, you should ensure that you use an appropriate one for the particular situation. You can take further hints from sample disciplinary letters to make sure that you are using the correct tools for the job, as well be certain that you are making your letters properly.

Make sure to format your letters properly.

Being that you would want your letter to be taken seriously, ensuring that you have formatted them properly does matter. After all, if your company warning letters are to properly convey the idea that your employees are in need of correction, then you do need to be sure that the format and content have been edited. If your letter is to properly contribute to the betterment of your employees, then the format needs to be proper so as to make it possess the proper sense of gravitas.

With all these tips and insights, you should have more resources to work with, and a better idea of how to make use of them for your own purposes.

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