Employee Warning (Notice) Letter Templates – Samples

The people in charge of an organization should not tolerate any inappropriate behavior from their subordinates. Doing so would lead to disrespect from management, colleagues, and juniors, and that would ultimately lead to chaos. One way to handle this situation is to write a warning letter to the person who committed the unacceptable conduct. This letter is also known as a disciplinary form or an employee warning form.

Next, we will show you what it is, and we will also leave you free downloadable templates.

Free Templates

Free Customizable Disciplinary Inquiry Warning Letter Template as Word Document

Free Customizable Disciplinary Issue Warning Letter Template as Word Document

Free Customizable Employee Warning Email Template as Word Document
Free Customizable Employee Warning Letter Template 01 as Word Document

Free Customizable Employee Warning Letter Template 02 as Word Document

Free Customizable Frequent Absence Warning Letter Template as Word Document

Free Customizable Poor Performance Warning Letter Template as Word Document

Free Customizable Performance Issues Warning Letter Template as Word Document

    When is a Warning Letter Issued?

    Employees are judged based on their performance. Generally, it is the responsibility of the Human Resources Department to monitor your occupation and conduct. They then issue this letter if the employee is under-performing or engaging in unacceptable behavior. Issuing it to the employee can help avoid future disputes.

    It is also referred to as:

    • Written warning
    • Letter of caution
    • Letter of reprimand
    • Formal notice


    It must take the form of an official document stating the unacceptable conduct of the employee in question.

    The reasons can include attendance, behavior, performance, and other issues that require attention.

    These are the most common reasons that may warrant the issuance of such a letter:

    • Breach of labor obligations.
    • Frequent tardiness.
    • Lack of work without notice.
    • A violation of the company’s confidentiality policy.
    • A violation of the health and safety policy.
    • A violation of the alcohol and drug policy.
    • Misrepresenting theft ratings.
    • Threatening or physically harming co-workers.

    Other measures

    Writing it could be a daunting task, but if you want order and discipline to infuse your workforce, you must. It should state the reasons why you are reprimanding the employee.

    Here are some details that can be part of this letter:

    • The employee does not measure the business standards of the company.
    • You are aware of the employee’s continued inappropriate behaviors.
    • The letter should specify the steps the employee must take to rectify their situation.
    • Supporting documents such as performance reviews and attendance records are the best proof of unsatisfactory employee performance.

    Keep a sample letter for the worker on file, as this can help the employer against any lawsuits, should the employee try to sue or cause a labor dispute. Such letters are broad enough to dismiss the case.

    Information Included in Employee Warning Letter

    As the name suggests, it is a warning from the employer to the employee, informing the latter of his failure to comply with the corporation’s guidelines. It works as an appeal to the proletariat about their inappropriate behavior, and it can include the consequences of the actions.

    pro tip

    When writing it, employers should also keep a copy for human resource documentation purposes.

    The necessary information that this letter can include is the following:

    • The employee’s personal information, such as name, employee number, and title.
    • Company information, such as the company name, the manager’s name, and even the human resources officer’s name, where applicable.
    • Information about the policy or rule that the employee broke due to the behavior.
    • What the worker must do or improve to improve their situation.
    • There should also be an area for employee comments, signature details for all parties involved if a follow-up meeting is still required, and when the follow-up assessment or estimate will occur.

    It should generally refer to a particular incident or several incidents that have taken place in a short time, such as a couple of days or weeks. It will ensure that the company maintains detailed records of incidents and can easily remember where they made mistakes.

    Creating an Employee Warning Letter

    Employers generally issue this letter for unacceptable behavior or conduct in which employees engage. It is the last resort to warn the employee that such actions are not tolerated. It also allows the employee to repair his habits. Otherwise, they will suffer the consequences. If there is still an ongoing violation, the company has all rights to relieve or suspend the employee from their position.

    Here are some helpful tips for writing it effectively:

    • Get straight to the point. Indicates employee conduct or actions that are not unacceptable by company standards, as well as if the employee continues to repeat the behavior despite various verbal warnings.
    • Remind the worker that the letter is a warning for violations.
    • It indicates that if this trend continues, the company will resort to more severe actions that may include suspension or termination.
    • Finish the letter asking the worker to correct his behavior and have good behavior.

    It should be very concise and straightforward so that your employee understands it quickly. Also, emphasize lousy behavior early on, so there is no chance of misinterpretation.

    Although this letter has a negative connotation, you can still state your intention politely. Keep in mind that it will also help the employee, both personally and professionally. It will ensure the continuous and smooth operation of the workforce.

    Specify details

    Once the employer has fulfilled the requirements for dealing with the employee who made a mistake, you can prepare the letter that will include all relevant information when requested. It must include all the details to inform the employee about the transgressions committed and what they can do to correct them.

    The employer letter may include:

    • Details of any prior warnings made against the employee.
    • Details of any meetings that have occurred.
    • Details of the poor job performance of employees.
    • Confirm if the employee had the opportunity to explain himself.
    • If the employee has already had a chance to explain, you can include this explanation’s details.
    • If the employee will have the opportunity to explain details about what to do.
    • Details of what the employee must do to improve their job performance.
    • Details of any follow-up meetings, if applicable.
    • Any other remarks that the employer or the person drafting the letter on their behalf would like to include. 

    Final steps

    After preparing it and checking all the supporting documents, the employer can arrange a meeting with the employee during which the employer must provide this letter.

    If the employee is not ready to attend the meeting or join the HR team for a discussion, the employer can receive the letter at the official address of the employee’s home.

    After the employee has accepted the letter, the employer can begin to monitor the employee’s performance. If there is a date for the next meeting, the employer will have to follow up on that date and follow up with the employee as agreed. If there is no improvement in the employee’s work ethic, the employer will have to write another document. It will be the final letter to the employee who made a mistake.

    Warning Letter Template

    [Your Company Letterhead]


    [Employee’s Name]

    [Employee’s Job Title]


    [Company Name]

    [Company Address]

    [City, State, Zip Code]

    Subject: Warning Letter for [Specify Reason, e.g., Unsatisfactory Performance, Attendance Issues, Misconduct]

    Dear [Employee’s Name],

    This letter serves as a formal warning regarding [briefly describe the issue, e.g., your unsatisfactory performance, repeated tardiness, violation of company policy]. Despite previous discussions and [mention any previous informal warnings, training, or corrective actions taken], we have not seen the necessary improvement in your [behavior/performance].

    [Detail the specific behavior or performance issue, including dates, examples, and any impact on the team or company operations. Use objective and clear language.]

    It is essential to understand that such [behavior/performance] is unacceptable and cannot continue. As a valued member of our team, we expect you to adhere to our company standards and policies. Failure to meet these expectations could result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

    To assist you in improving your [performance/behavior], we suggest the following steps:

    [List specific actions or improvements required from the employee.]

    [Mention any support or resources available to the employee, such as training, counseling, or additional supervision.]

    Please consider this letter a serious reminder of the need to address these issues immediately. We expect to see significant improvement in your [performance/behavior] by [specific timeframe], at which point we will reevaluate the situation.

    We value your contributions to the team and believe in your potential to [mention any positive qualities or past achievements of the employee]. We are confident that you can rectify this situation and look forward to seeing positive changes.

    If you have any questions or need further clarification, please do not hesitate to discuss them with [supervisor/HR representative].


    [Your Name]

    [Your Job Title]

    [Company Name]

    [Contact Information]

    Employee Warning Letter Sample

    Subject: Warning Letter for Poor Performance

    Dear John,

    This letter serves as a formal warning regarding the concerns we have observed with your performance as a Software Engineer in the Product Development Department. Despite previous discussions on this matter and the support provided through additional training sessions in the past three months, we have not seen the necessary improvement in your project deliverables and adherence to deadlines.

    Specifically, your performance on the recent Phoenix Project did not meet our expectations. The project was delivered two weeks late, and the initial deployment contained numerous critical bugs that significantly impacted the client’s operations. This pattern of delayed project completion and the substandard quality of work has been a recurring issue, as also noted in your last two project evaluations.

    It is crucial for you to understand that such performance levels are unacceptable and cannot continue. As part of our team, we expect you to adhere to our company’s standards for quality and timeliness. Failure to meet these expectations could lead to further disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

    To assist you in improving your performance, we recommend the following steps:

    • Engage in weekly check-ins with your project manager to review progress on assignments and address any challenges promptly.
    • Attend the upcoming Advanced Software Development Techniques workshop scheduled for March 5-7, 20XX.
    • Utilize the mentorship program by pairing with a senior engineer in your department for the next project cycle.

    Please consider this letter a serious reminder of the need to address these performance issues immediately. We expect to see significant improvement in your project execution and deliverable quality by the end of Q2 20XX, at which point we will reevaluate the situation.

    We value your contributions to the team and believe in your potential to overcome these challenges. We are confident that with focused effort and the support outlined above, you can achieve the expected performance standards.

    If you have any questions or require further clarification on any of the points mentioned, please feel free to discuss them with me or your direct supervisor.



    Alice Martinez

    Director of Product Development

    Zenith Innovations Inc.


    (555) 987-6543


    This warning letter effectively communicates performance concerns to a Software Engineer, balancing direct feedback with constructive support. It starts with a clear statement of the issue, specifying areas of underperformance such as project delays and quality issues, making the feedback specific and actionable. The letter outlines potential consequences for continued poor performance, clearly setting the stakes for the employee and emphasizing the seriousness of the situation.

    Constructive steps for improvement are provided, including weekly check-ins, attending workshops, and participating in a mentorship program, demonstrating the company’s commitment to supporting the employee’s development. This approach not only addresses the immediate performance issues but also offers a pathway for growth and improvement.

    The letter closes by expressing confidence in the employee’s ability to overcome these challenges, adding a motivational element. The invitation for further discussion encourages open communication, reinforcing the supportive nature of the feedback process.

    Overall, the letter adeptly combines clear, direct feedback on performance issues with a supportive framework for improvement, making it a balanced and effective tool for addressing and resolving workplace performance concerns.

    How to Use an Employee Warning Letter

    Employers are committed to helping their workers and buyers maintain a consistent, effective, and positive work environment. If any event puts this work environment at risk, the employer must respond quickly.

    In that circumstance, an employee disciplinary letter is required, especially if employers’ above verbal warnings are not followed or if the employee ignores them. Destructive behaviors will cause the employer to issue a warning notice as the first step in solving the problem.

    Only a person in authority can issue this letter, and it is based on the severity of the crime. Employers can issue it against an individual, a group, or even an entire department. It is a correspondence between the employer and its employee. It also becomes an official record that you can use for future reference.


    Probationary periods are specified periods where workers are excluded from such contractual things, most notably the warning period necessary for termination. Contract employees or others working part-time could be given a shortened probationary period.

    No law specifies the duration of a probationary period. It is common to last no longer than six months for a probationary period and three months when an employee transitions internally to a new job.

    Tips to Write a Warning Letter Professionally

    Employers will also need to follow specific procedures when writing this type of letter.

    Here are some tips that should help you in writing the document:

    • The labor law defines the minimum standards for employment. Therefore, you may need to refer to the law before writing this letter.
    • If there is an applicable industry instrument, such as a registered award or agreement, you may need to attach additional requirements.
    • Violation of an employment contract or employment policy may also require additional requirements.
    • Whatever the case, the employer must meet the requirements that must be met when writing the letter.

    Related Documents

    Following are some of the documents related to the employee warning letter:

    Employee evaluation

    Employee evaluation is used to measure the job performance of an employee.

    Employment termination letter

    An employee termination letter is used to tell an employee that they are no longer employed.

    Employment contract

    An employment contract defines the rules, duties, and obligations of an employee during a specific period.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What if the employee refuses to sign?

    If an employee refuses to sign it, then the company has the right to issue a termination letter.

    How many warnings are required before termination?

    The number of warnings depends on violations but generally, 2-3 warnings are considered enough.


    The warning letter is a way to document the employee’s conduct in the company. In the event of a labor lawsuit, the letter can be documented evidence of what has been going on in the company and with the employee. The letter is usually written by the Human Resources department of the company where the worker is employed.

    About This Article

    William Lehr
    Authored by:
    Human Resources Specialist, MS Office Expert
    William Lehr combines a profound understanding of human resources with a certified expertise in Microsoft Office, making him a dual asset in any professional setting. With a keen insight into the intricacies of HR, William adeptly manages talent acquisition, employee relations, and organizational development. His Microsoft Office proficiency further amplifies his effectiveness, allowing him to design and implement seamless workflows, reports, and analytical tools. Whether it's optimizing HR processes or crafting efficient MS Office solutions, William's comprehensive skill set ensures that organizational objectives are met with precision and excellence.

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