A warning letter is served to an employee who does not show any improvement in his performance or behavior despite repeated verbal warnings. In this article, we will take a look at what exactly does this letter communicate.
Every organization has certain rules and regulations that require strict adherence from its employees. Organizations expect its employees to perform to the best of their ability and contribute to its success. When an employee under-performs continuously over a period of time or shows unacceptable behavior, it is time that a warning letter is served to the employee. This letter clearly specifies the time-period till which the employee will be under review.
Organizations cannot afford to keep employees who behave in a manner that is contrary to its policies. Therefore putting a non-performing employee on probation is the ideal way to ensure that he/she doesn’t become a liability. A warning letter is an ultimatum to an employee that he needs to change his behavior and perform as per the expectations. It is served while conducting a face-to-face meeting with the employee and this allows the human resource manager to talk to the concerned employee. While most warning letters are expected and don’t really come ‘out of the blue’, it is the responsibility of the human resource managers to have a conversation with the employee regarding why he has been placed on probation. Some important points this letter should contain are:
- A warning letter should specify the reason because of which an employee is being put under probation. This can include not meeting the set targets on a monthly basis or numerous behavioral complaints against the employee.
- The idea behind issuing a warning letter is to ensure that he understands that the organization takes disciplinary and non-performance issues very seriously, with termination being a possible consequence. The letter should clearly explain that this is the last chance to improve the performance/behavior and if this time the employee doesn’t get it right, there would be no second chances.
- The job of an HR manager shouldn’t end with the issuance of a warning letter. Instead, it is his responsibility to clearly identify what are the next steps that need to be taken if the employee doesn’t show any signs of improvement during the probation period. This includes nominating a manager to whom the concerned employee has to report to in the probation period.
Sample Warning Letter
Your performance as an employee of this organization has been unsatisfactory and despite repeated warnings, you have shown no improvement.
While non-performance is a serious issue and can warrant termination, we as an organization always try our level best to retain good employees. We have decided to give you one final opportunity to improve your performance, so effective today, you are on a three-month probation period. If there is no sign of improvement in your performance, we will be left with no other alternative than to terminate your employment.
Mr.__________ and Mr. ___________ will also receive copies of this warning letter and you are requested to get in touch with Mr.___________ who will assist you with the terms and conditions of the probation period.
Signature of the employee
A warning letter is an important document in business organizations as it helps in ensuring that employees whose performance or behavior has not been up to the mark over a period of time are warned beforehand to improve themselves so that later on there are no complications. It also helps the organization to steer away from any accusations of discrimination against a said employee. We hope that this article would have helped you understand purpose for which a warning letter is served.