Warning Letter Full Guide


Warning letters are used by HR on a regular basis and they are issued to employees for various reasons such as misconduct, poor performance, or misbehavior. The warning letter allows managers to discipline their employees and inform them that if they do not follow the rules and company policies, they will face the consequences.

Since the warning letter is such an important document, you need to be delicate and respectful when writing one. You don’t want the employee taking the warning the wrong way and ger upset or quit on the spot.

With that said, today we will show you how to structure the warning letter and present you with a couple of samples and templates that you enc edit. Without any further ado, let’s jump right into it.

What is a Warning Letter?

As previously noted, warning letters are used by managers or HR to inform employees of a breach of company protocol. The letter will inform the employee that their infraction has been noted and what are the consequences if they continue.

What Should a Warning Letter Contain?

The warning letter is an important document and you need to make sure that it contains all the required information. Check it out below:

  • The employee’s information (name and title);
  • The company details and official stamp;
  • Details about the infraction that they are being warned about;
  • The consequences;
  • The steps that the employee needs to follow in order to improve.

Template/Sample Examples

Below you can find some samples of warning letters that you can use as inspiration. Feel free to modify them with the name of your company and employees.

#1 For Insubordination


Mr. ____________________

Emp. No___________________

Designation ________________

Dear Mr.

It has been reported to the management that today i.e 27th February 2017 Monday at the time around 0230 pm when your Line Manager asked you to go and supervise the worker at our other Production Unit, you instead of following up the order given by your Manager you simply refused to obey the instructions and indulge into the argument and shouted at him.

It has also been brought to our notice that you have also admitted your misbehavior and mistake about this incident.  Although the management could have taken a hard and drastic action against you for insubordination, keeping in view of your performance and previous record the management has decided to give you a chance to reform you, and now you are being given another opportunity.

Finally, you are warned that you will not repeat this again and will work on your behavior and hope you will be very careful to listen and follow the instruction given by your manager in the future.

Treat this as the last Warning letter issued to you failing which a hard disciplinary action would be taken against you.


Manager Name & Designation

#2 For Work Attendance

Dear [Employee’s name], As we’ve recently discussed, your [absenteeism] is negatively affecting both your individual performance at work and your team’s productivity. We take [attendance at work] seriously and we expect all our employees to [comply with our company’s policy regarding time off].

However, you have frequently violated [this policy] and [have exceeded the number of days you can be absent from work] despite reprimands. More specifically, [in the last month you didn’t show up at work on X, Y, Z without any prior notice to either HR or your manager.] We do understand that unexpected issues may arise occasionally and we [are flexible (for example, by giving the option to work from home or take a sick leave to take care of a sick family member).] But, we still expect our employees to be professional and act in our company’s best interest.

This is your [first] warning notice. We expect you to correct your behavior and [request time off in advance and in a formal way (e.g. via email to your manager or through our HRIS.)] Otherwise, we will have to take further disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

I’m available to discuss any complications you face that cause your [absence at work.] Please, contact me directly if there’s any way I can help you.


[Your name]
[Your email signature]

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