Letter of Concern for Poor Performance

A letter of concern is an informal warning issued to an employee for reasons such as violation of conduct at the workplace or poor work performance. This letter is the first step in the procedure for a disciplinary action. This informal letter is basically used as a way to inform the employee about their performance problem so the employee can fix it before the issue becomes worse.

Employees with deteriorating work performance and quality are verbally reprimanded. After the verbal reprimand, the supervisor issues them an informal letter of concern. This letter advises the employee to improve their work performance or work quality before it becomes a serious issue.

The employees are also asked to seek for help from their supervisor if they are facing difficulty in the tasks they have been appointed with.

In some cases, the head of the department or the supervisor will issue the letter of concern to the concerned employee. However, in some situations, the HR department might be the issuer of the letter of concern.

In some cases, a person with the higher post might be the writer of the letter of concern. For example, if the head of an organization notices the poor performance of employees, they might order the HR department to issue a letter of concern to the supervisor of the said employees. The supervisor, then, will forward the message to his subordinates.

Letter of concern should be issued the instance poor work performance of an employee is recognized. Identifying the issue earlier will provide the opportunity to the employee to quickly fix the issue before it becomes worse.

Employees are usually given a chance to resolve the issue themselves, however, if the supervisor notices the issue has gone unresolved, they need to step in with a letter of concern. This is to make sure the employee also recognizes the deteriorating performance of their work.

The letter of concern should be precise, with words that clearly deliver the message to the employee. The issue should be clearly explained to the employee such as letting them know their work quality is not meeting the standards of the company anymore. Furthermore, the letter should advise the employee appropriate ways of resolving the issue.

For example, if the work performance has deteriorated due to the employee’s late arrival at work. They should be advised to either work overtime or arrive at work early.

Below is a sample letter of concern to an employee with poor work performance:

Sample Letter

Dear XYZ,

This is a letter to inform you of my concerns regarding the deterioration of work performance. Your work on the Project [NAME] did not meet the required work standards of the organization and was missing very important information.

Improvement in your work performance is expected. Your performance is being assessed. We hope you will put more effort in your work in the next project. Please feel free to contact me if you are facing any difficulty in the tasks appointed to you.


Name of Issuer,

Name of Department.


Letter of Concern for Poor Performance

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