What Is a Warning Letter?

A warning letter is a letter addressed to an erring individual whether in a company of any industry, a school, or in a community (tenant). It is used to correct any misbehavior on the part of the addressee. Ideally, the erring individual is given a warning letter to provide him with ample time to explain his side on the matter as part of the due process. This will give him/her a chance to correct himself/herself before being sanctioned.

Actions that need disciplinary action are absenteeism, poor performance, negligence, insubordination, and attendance-related issues (tardiness). In the hospitality industry, it can be poor customer service, safety violations, etc.

As per the due process, an employee has a right to be informed of his/her violations before firing him. If he is deprived of this right, he/she is allowed to seek legal action.

How to Create a Warning Letter?

Despite the alarming nature of a warning letter, it should still contain an ounce of civility. To create an appropriate warning letter, go over our list below.

1. State the Problem

State the problem as to why the employee is being called. It would be much better if you can provide evidence. For example, if the problem is "Sleeping on the Job," then show a surveillance footage screenshot that the employee is sleeping. Provide the date and time when it occurred and that it is stipulated in the employee handbook that sleeping is considered as an offense.

2. Indicate the Impact It Has on the Organization

State the impact it has on the organization. You may indicate that sleeping on the job affects productivity and that it encourages others to do the same, too. Continued misconduct will harm the organization/company.

3. State What Is Expected of the Employee

To ensure that the action won't happen again in the future, discuss preventive measures. Determine the root cause of the problem and communicate with him/her because he might be having problems at home. Instruct him/her to provide an explanation letter airing his/her side within a particular number of working days.

4. Warn the Employee of Repercussions If the Action Were to Happen Again

If the action were to happen again, state the possible repercussions. He/she may face termination or suspension. These may help prevent the activity from being repeated in the future.

5. Proofread and Print

Once you are done creating the letter, proofread the letter for any inaccurate information. Do not forget to check for grammatical and spelling-related errors. If overlooked, the employee might have a hard time understanding your written letter.

6. Have the Employee Sign the Letter and Have Your Copy

Once done, print two copies; one for you and one for the employee. Have your copy signed by the employee as proof that he/she has received the warning letter and for documentation purposes as well.

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