Complaint Letters to Subordinate

A complaint letter to a subordinate is written by an employer in which he addresses an employee and informs him about the complaint or problem the employer has with him. The employer/manager/supervisor may give an oral warning to an employee and if the unprofessional behavior continues, a written complaint letter, which may serve as a warning letter, may be issued and kept in the records for the employee evaluation.

The manager can have various complaints against an employee such as unprofessional behavior, inefficiency, bad quality work, continuous absence, etc. The supervisor may follow different formats as per the company requirements but the general format is:

  • Date
  • Details of the manager
  • Details of the employee
  • The complaint
  • Effects on the company
  • Consequences or warning, if required
  • Motivational statement
  • Statement of support
  • Statement to show openness for questions

When this letter is written, the supervisor shows his stern tone to the employee yet not a condescending one. The point has to be communicated so that the employee can improve his behavior but at the same time, a little motivation might prove to push the employee efforts.

When a superior has a complaint against an employee, he needs to address it and take corrective action. Usually, an irresponsibility on part of an employee would not only affect the supervisor or the department but the whole company in terms of losses and lost revenues.

Sample Letters


Complaint letter to subordinate about cleanliness

I have been administering you from the past few weeks and have found that despite my verbal speech with you, you have shown continuous negligence towards keeping your working area clean. Your cabin has been found numerous times with half-filled drink cans, some of which falls on your table as well and snacks packets. This does not seem good at all. It reflects a bad impression of yours on others. You should keep your working area neat and clean as it might damage your keyboard. I hope that you will take this letter seriously and keep your cabin up to date.


Last week when I received the carton of packed stationary items for inspection, I found that a large number of stationery items were not packed properly. The covers were either fully torn or some were without any packing. This is the third time in a row that I had come across improper packing of stationery items. I need you to look into this matter and investigate that who in your group is creating problems. I expect to be detailed about the ongoing problem very soon.


Complaint letter to subordinate about the negligence of work

This is to inform you that your careless attitude towards work will not be tolerated anymore. You were asked to give a detailed report regarding production, but you have failed to do so. This is not the first time that you are unable to do so. This is the second time that things did not go well. I had personally asked you that if something personal at your end is disturbing you but after talking to you everything seemed to be going well. I need you to think over the situation and bring out results.


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Complaint letter to subordinate