Most employees never want to come across a letter of reprimand since it gives a negative vibe about their performance. You must understand that a reprimand letter is an official document dealing with specific employees who initiate problems at the workplace. This letter is usually kept under records in an employee’s file.
This letter is written once your employer has observed your performance or behavior. Furthermore, the letter of reprimand acts as the first step of the formal disciplinary process and peeves the way for extra-disciplinary actions against the worker. Once you are given this letter, and you seem not to change, there is no doubt that you will lose your job.
What Is a Letter of Reprimand?
A reprimand letter is a formal document written to deal with employees who initiate problems at workstations. It is part of policy in most workplaces, emphasizing progressive discipline. In most cases, the management team controls the employees’ behavior before terminating or suspending them. Furthermore, it gives the employee a chance to change before being fired.
What Is the Main objective of a Letter of Reprimand?
If an employee is acting uncouthly, he can be given this letter as his first warning, and if he fails to comply, he can face the consequences. A letter of reprimand communicates efficiently to an employee to improve some aspects of conduct, especially at work. The principal objective of this particular letter is to eliminate unwanted behaviors from the workstation. This letter is used by superior managers, team leaders, and employers as a disciplinary tool. Let us look at some reasons why you might need to write this letter to your employee:
Missing meetings- Employees can only receive crucial information concerning their company through meetings. In addition, meeting showcases teamwork as well as collaboration. Therefore, if an employee fails to attend the meeting severally, he will be served with a letter of reprimand to stop that behavior.
Failure to observe protocols- You must understand that each position has expectations. In this case, this letter shows the essentialness of following protocols, more so on individual’s work.
Misuse of equipment- If the employee is not using the company equipment appropriately, you should write them this letter.
Low performance- A reprimand letter is the best way of rectifying situations. Suppose your employee is not completing tasks or goals, proceed and serve them this letter.
Uncouth behavior- How you behave at the workplace usually determines whether the place is suitable for working, more so for your colleagues. It also contributes to the productivity of the company. Therefore, if employees misbehave, they are likely to affect others at work. If this happens, write a reprimand letter to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
Absenteeism- When you are absent for quite a long time, there is no doubt that you will deliver poor performance and miss crucial assignments. Besides, absenteeism can negatively affect your team or even department.
Tardiness- If employees continuously come to work late, you must issue them this formal warning.
Letter of Reprimand Templates & Examples
Essential Elements of a Letter of Reprimand
A letter of reprimand is usually precise and clearly states the employee’s performance that needs enhancement. As mentioned earlier, if the employees do not put effort into improving, there is no doubt they will face the consequences.
Before an employer initiates a reprimand letter, supervisors must schedule a verbal conversation with the worker having issues. This is a formal or verbal warning, which entails performance problems. A reprimand letter is offered if the verbal warning does not seem to work. But before you write this letter, you must know its crucial elements. Below are several essential aspects of a reprimand letter:
- It must identify the problem the employee needs to address.
- This letter should feature a few examples of how the employee needs to alter his performance to comply with the company’s expectations.
- It must demonstrate the impact of the worker’s poor performance on its success.
- It should incorporate a timeline given for the employee to improve.
- Suppose the letter is relevant. It should feature a deadline. During this time, the performance of the employee will be re-evaluated.
- It should contain consequences, which will be implemented if the employee does not improve.
- It must incorporate the supervisor or manager’s signature.
- The employee’s signature will show that they received the letter.
How to Write a Letter of Reprimand?
You need to draft your letter directly and encouragingly to communicate your message perfectly. Here is an overview of several steps that will guide you in writing a reprimand letter:
Informally address the issue
Before writing this letter, you need to address this issue via informal mail or even casual talk. If that fails, proceed with a reprimand letter to emphasize the trend in the behavior. Furthermore, if you write a letter, you would have given your employee a chance to change before they undergo disciplinary action. Addressing the issue informally shows your respect for the employees.
Start with a clear purpose
The first few lines of your letter should be professional and direct. And they should feature a purpose for sending the letter. To ensure that you are clear enough, mention that letter is a reprimand letter. It would help if you offered dates for any informal discussions or warnings. Additionally, mention the date when the undesired incident happened.
Mention the company policy
After stating the person’s behavior, cite your company’s policy. Through this, your employee will understand the severity of the issue and work towards meeting your expectations.
Appreciate positive qualities
Immediately after mentioning the company protocols or policy, relax your employees’ minds by complementing their positive qualities. The word you use should be encouraging because you are not writing a termination letter. Your employees will comply with your letter and rectify their mistakes if you do so.
Emphasize necessary changes
When you are almost ending your letter, emphasize the changes you would love to see from your employees. This will reiterate your issue and clarify more on what you expect. Remember, employees are usually willing to change, but you need to ensure they understand what you need from them.
Explain your next steps
It would help if you mentioned what will happen next, such as the consequences of such an incident in the future. On the other hand, you can also talk of the due date you want to see change. This makes an integral part of your letter because it features a professional goal.
Conclude your letter with the hope
Ensure you conclude your letter with a positive vibe. Remember, your language needs to be firm and express your confidence in your employee’s potential to address your primary concern. Bear in mind that a hopeful statement is a source of motivation.
Sign your letter
The final step of this letter is your signature and the date. The signature tells the employee who drafted the letter and the significance.
Best Practices for an Effective Delivery
Each employer usually needs their employees to succeed. Therefore, as a leader, sending a reprimand letter is an effective way of communicating when one of your employees fails to meet the company’s expectations. Additionally, this letter consumes a lot of time to come to completion. But it is worth your time because it enhances change and growth. Here are a few best practices for an effective delivery:
Once you send the letter, it is appropriate that you acknowledge your employees that they received the message. This will also help you assess whether they have changed in behavior. Supervisors have a lot of work and manage a lot of people. Therefore, they must write details down. As a supervisor, you can send an email requesting feedback or your employee’s signature.
Plan for a follow-up meeting
A follow-up meeting will help you to examine the progress of your employee. After delivering a letter of reprimand, plan for a follow-up meeting to gauge the action your employee is taking to improve. Ensure that you document your follow-up meeting.
A reprimand letter informs the employees of their illicit behavior and expresses their desire to see them change their negative behaviors. Thus, giving your employees a chance to respond to your concern is essential. Bear in mind that your employee might be going through tough times, resulting in poor work performance. In this scenario, you are likely to solve their problems or identify management issues. Allowing for feedback shows your concern as well as flexibility.
Sample Letters of Reprimand
Date: 5TH March 2032
Sender: Chief director of the water company, Grace Jayden
Recipient: John Walker
Mr. John Walker
On Friday 1st February 2032, you were verbally warned against coming to work late. You admitted your mistake and said you would improve time management and keep time when coming to work. But, yesterday, 4th February 2032, you failed again to keep time, negatively affecting company productivity.
In section 111, clause b, the employee’s handbook prohibits the employees from reporting to work late. It proceeds to explain under what circumstances employees are expected to report late at work, which your case does not meet since it has become a habit.
Bear in mind that I value your productivity for the past few years we have worked together, and I consider you a professional employee, but I cannot overlook your mistake. Furthermore, any further breach of poor time management will make you face disciplinary action.
Therefore, review the company handbook and meet me on 15th February 2032. During this date will discuss how we can peacefully resolve this matter. Kindly sign this letter and handle it back to me when the meeting starts. I hope you will see the severity of this matter and work towards time management.
Sample Letters of Reprimand (Inappropriate Behavior)
Date: 9th February 2032
Sender: Director of Communication, Daniel Tyson
Recipient: Perry Reed
Dear Ms. Perry Reed,
This reprimand letter is written to warn you against inappropriate behavior in our company. 4th February, on a Friday, you received a verbal warning after body shaming your colleague. However, on 7th February 2032, in the company’s dining room, you repeated the same mistake in your colleague’s presence, among other workers.
According to the company’s handbook, this is defined as harassment, intimidation, bullying, and a verbal act meant to harm a person. Your behaviors are violating the company’s H.I.B policy.
Remember, you are a crucial part of our communication team, and your contribution towards enhancing the company’s productivity is highly appreciated. However, we must ensure that all workers feel safe and have a conducive environment for working. Therefore, ensure that you attend a web-based sensitivity training for at least two hours. Visit the human resource office to access the training. Kindly complete this training before the month ends. A repeat of a similar mistake for the third time will face disciplinary action or termination.
It would be better I meet with you to discuss how we can handle this sensitive training. My assistant personnel will contact you during the day to schedule the meeting. Please sign this reprimand letter and hand it over to me before 9th February 2032.
Furthermore, I hope the training will transform you into a better person. Therefore, I will encourage your growth as I maintain a healthy and conducive working environment for your whole team.
Director of Communication
A letter of reprimand is serious because if you do not change your behavior, you can face disciplinary action or end your career. Furthermore, it makes it difficult for you to advance in rank or enjoy the respect you deserve.
A reprimand letter is a written warning, which informs employees that their work performance or behavior does not go per your company’s standards. However, this letter does not include a salary reduction or termination of employment. Unless you fail to change then, you risk loosing
After giving out a reprimand letter, you must give your employee a short duration to respond to your letter. The employee can convince you to rescind your letter or put it in their file.
A reprimand letter is also known as a warning letter; it is usually written to employees to improve their work conduct. Furthermore, it helps prevent similar misconduct from reoccurring.
A letter of reprimand is used officially at the workplace as a form of communication. It is given to employees whenever they showcase undesirable actions or behavior in their workplace. If you run a department or lead a team, you will find yourself writing this letter.