How To Write An Employee Warning Letter

employee warning letter

Most managers are reluctant to take disciplinary action against employees. This is because they feel it would do more harm than good—demotivating the employee and potentially leading to trust issues.

However, this is not true.

And it’s not that hard to write an employee warning letter!

Look at it this way; if an employee has violated company policy, the trust is already compromised. What disciplinary action will do is offer an opportunity for both parties to start working on their mutual understanding and trust again.

A warning letter is often issued to employees to serve as an official notification that an employee has violated company policies. Official notification is important in order to keep track that the employee was informed about his/her actions and what steps were expected from the employee that could be considered as a corrective measure.

The warning letter can also serve as evidence when further action is being taken against the employee, such as termination, so that a company does not face legal trouble.

Following are some of the key components of a warning letter, which will ensure that the letter serves as an official document and communicate clearly to the employee.


The problem, which is also the purpose of writing the letter, should be clearly mentioned and should leave no ambiguity in the mind of the employee about his/her performance issue.


The letter should include how the behavior or performance of the employee is negatively affecting other employees in the workplace and the overall success of the organization. This will ensure that the employee understands the magnitude of his/her actions.

Corrective Actions

The letter must communicate the ways, with examples, in which the employee must show improvement. The letter must outline the expectations that the company has from the employee, clearly.

Timeline and Due Date

If necessary, the letter should have a timeline in which the employee in which to improve performance and a due date at which he/she will be evaluated again.


If the employee fails to improve after the due date, the letter must contain all possible consequences that could be taken as disciplinary action.


If the letter is being given on paper, it should contain the signature of the manager or supervisor. While giving the letter to the employee, the signature of the employee should also be taken.

If the letter is being issued on email, then the acknowledgement from the employee should be taken to ensure that the employee has received and read the contents of the letter.

If you are wondering what an actual employee warning letter looks like, check out our website to take a look at some great samples and templates that will help you construct an effective warning letter.