Warning Letter to Employee

warning letter to employee

Disobey, misconduct, and violation of the work protocols are rare, but every organization comes across them at some or the other time. Such incidents need to be immediately addressed so that the gravity of the situation is not neglected. Commonly it is advisable to provide verbal warnings to employees before the written letter, as it will avoid escalation if the matter is minor and solvable.

The purpose of issuing a warning letter is to encourage employees to follow the code of conduct and not to discourage them from working for your organization. You want your employees to be in discipline and know what impact their misconduct can have on their work and company culture. Let’s understand what exactly warning letters are, along with warning letter samples and format.

Meaning of Warning Letter

A warning letter is a formal letter issued by the authorities in the organization to the employees for their inappropriate behavior, disciplinary issue, or any misconduct. A warning letter acts as a tool to notify and alert employees regarding their wrongdoings and their impact on the organization. Some of the incidents in which this letter can be issued are breaking the code of conduct, dishonesty, poor performance, and many more, which are considered as unacceptable by the organization.

Things to Consider While Writing a Warning Letter to Employees

Here are the things you need to consider while writing a warning letter to employees:

Language and Tone

Always write the letter using a formal and professional tone that emphasizes the gravity of the situation. However, ensure that the words used do not threaten, and discourage employees, as the end goal is only to change the employees’ behavior.


Having a warning letter format and structure is essential. The way it should be created is as follows:

  • Mention the date of warning
  • Write the company name with the name of the person issuing the letter
  • Include the subject
  • Write the name of the employees
  • Mention the details of the violation
  • Reasons why the situation is considered as violating the company policies
  • Mention the actions that the organization will take
  • Include signature


Content should be to the point. Unnecessary long sentences without any purpose or repeating the things already mentioned is not the correct way. Short letters are always more impactful. Include the details, without putting forward more emotions. To add credibility, include the date.


To avoid any issues and conflicts later due to minor errors, proofread the letter before handing it over to the employees. Make sure the letter is sent to the right person, including the right details.


Once the letter is given, confirm it with the employees that they have received it. For that, you can ask employees to sign the letter and, in case of email ask them to send a follow-up email.

Types of Warning Letters

There can be various reasons for issuing a warning letter to an employee, and the purpose of writing them can differ. Here are some types of warning letters given to employees:

Warning Letter for Poor Performance

A warning letter to an employee for poor performance is commonly given when the employee is underperforming, not performing their duties and responsibilities, or not being able to achieve their goals consistently. Generally, employees are given a warning letter when they are not able to perform well during the probation period and fail to meet the minimum job standards. To ensure that performance-related issues do not create circumstances that would lead to the issuance of a warning letter, implement factoHRs performance management software and never go wrong with performance evaluation.

Warning Letter for Attendance

A warning letter for attendance is given to an employee when their tardiness and absenteeism increase to a great extent. When an employee will frequently stay absent and doesn’t show up to work, productivity is affected, and negatively impact the morale of other employees in the organization.

Warning Letter for Behaviour

A warning letter for behavior is given to the employees when they show up with unacceptable behavior and cause disruption in the organization. Usually, when employees behave inappropriately and unprofessionally towards managers, coworkers, and customers, a warning letter regarding their behavior is issued.

Warning Letter Format

Here, we have given a general warning letter format that could be used in different situations.

warning letter to employee format

Warning Letter Sample

The following are the different samples that can be issued to employees in case of any inappropriate behaviour, poor performance, and absenteeism.

Sample for Inappropriate Behaviour

Date: 2nd, Jan 2023

To Mr. Smit Bhatt
Business Development Executive

Subject: Final Warning for Inappropriate Behaviour

Dear Smit,

It comes to our knowledge that you behaved inappropriately with your manager during the meeting held on 30th Dec 2022. We would like to strongly put this forward that this kind of behavior is neither expected nor tolerated at our company.

Effective immediately, we are putting you on a warning period of a month. During this time, your behavior will be closely monitored.

Please take this warning letter seriously, as we do not entertain company policy violations. We expect you to apologize to your manager, improve your behavior and furnish a written apology within 3 days.

If you choose not to submit the apology or commit the mistake again, we may be forced to take stricter actions, including but not limited to suspension and termination.

Each employee is valuable to us, and we believe you to be our asset. As such, we want you to realize your mistake and improve yourself. Please contact me directly if you wish to discuss anything related to this letter.

HR Manager
Shruti Ahuja

Sample for Poor Performance

Date: 2nd, Jan 2023

To Mr. Vishal Shah
Business Development Executive

Subject: Final Warning for Poor Performance

Dear Vishal,

Your performance is consistently falling short of our company standards. You aren’t meeting assigned deadlines or reaching your individual goals.

This letter is to serve as the final official warning and enlighten you about the consequences that follow if you fail to improve. You are being given a duration of one month to take the required actions and improve your unsatisfactory performance.

If you choose to ignore this warning or fail to make a mark by the allotted time, we may have to take stricter actions, including suspension and termination.

Please note that this letter isn’t to discourage you but rather to understand your pain points and ways we can help you reach your goals. We are confident that you will come out brighter on the other side.

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

HR Manager
Shruti Ahuja

Sample for Absenteeism

Date: 2nd, Jan 2023

To Ms. Kruti Shah
Web Designer

Subject: Final Warning for Irregular Attendance

Dear Kruti,

As you are aware, your attendance isn’t up to the mark. You were given multiple verbal warnings from your manager to improve, but you failed to do so.

We take attendance seriously, and we expect you to do the same from now on. Your absenteeism is negatively impacting your individual work and team productivity. Every employee has a set of responsibilities and tasks to perform. The inability to reach the targets hampers the team’s morale and net value.

It has also come to our knowledge that you take leaves without informing us priorly and often log out much before your work timings, even when there is pending work.

This letter is to serve as the final official warning and enlighten you about the consequences that follow if you fail to improve. You are being given a duration of a month to better your attendance.

If you choose to ignore this warning or fail to regularize your attendance by the allotted time, we may have to take stricter actions, including suspension and termination.

Please reach out to me if you want to discuss this letter or appeal against the decisions mentioned. That being said, we are here to know and support you if any of your personal problems are leading to this situation.

HR Manager
Shruti Ahuja

Frequently Asked Questions

1. In what ways can a warning letter be delivered to an employee?

Employers can deliver the letter to employees in two ways. Either they can send it through email with a subject that clearly indicates the purpose, or another way is by conducting a meeting and providing a written letter, and discussing the plan for improvement.

2. What should you do after issuing a warning letter to an employee?

After issuing a warning letter to an employee, the next step is to arrange a meeting with their manager. Listen to the concerns of the employee and try to improve the situation. To maintain a positive outlook, praise the employee for improvement.

3. How many times do you give warnings to an employee?

Every company can set its own rules set for no.of warnings to be given to an employee for any misconduct before their termination. Most companies usually prefer to give at least one verbal warning before issuing the letter. In contradiction, some companies take certain kinds of instances seriously, and directly warn the employee.

Final Thoughts

Remember when writing a warning letter, always include a statement that offers employees support and assistance so that they can reach out to you in case of any queries or confusion. Also, don’t jump to a conclusion, and don’t get personal without listening to them. The end goal is to improve the employees’ behavior, performance or regularize their attendance.

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