A letter of reprimand is an official document written to an employee by a supervisor or human resource manager as a necessary disciplinary action to highlight the employee’s failing performance. The letter also stipulates the consequences which would result if the employee fails to improve his/her performance. The employer issues the letter after, providing the employee, required counseling, and periodic reviews.
The letter of reprimand is one of the steps of the disciplinary process. The documentation of disciplinary actions taken into account to address employee’s poor performance is important to keep a record in the files of the management and the employee. The reprimand letter may lead to termination or dismissal of the employee if no noticeable improvement is observed.
Before issuing a formal letter of reprimand, the employer discusses the subject in question with the employee and takes necessary action such as counseling of the employee, discussions, and meetings to highlight the issue of poor performance. Often, the meetings are followed up by verbal warnings and later with the reprimand letter.
The letter of reprimand comprises the following key components:
- Highlights the performance issue – the letter identifies and highlights the area (s) of job description where employee’s consideration is required to improve the falling performance
- Necessary measures to be taken to improve performance – the letter provides an array of steps which could be taken by the employee to improve performance in the defined problematic areas
- Provides an employee with an understanding of employee’s performance on the organizational/institutional goals and success – the letter addresses the importance of employee’s performance for the holistic and shared vision and goals
- Mentions timeline for performance review – the employee is communicated with the time period to improve performance by doing the needful, thus to avoid the dire consequences of poor
- Highlight the consequences – the letter clearly mentions the dire consequences which could be taken if the employee fails to make an improvement in the performance even after he/she has been notified about the matter
- Signatures of the employer and employee – the signatures are important as they serve to mark the seriousness and importance of the letter. The signatures of the employee and employer depict the acknowledgment for the letter’s subject and content
Sample Reprimand Letter for Poor Performance
Dear Mr./Ms. ABC,
This letter is official reprimand documentation for your job performance during the course of the last two years. Despite the periodic reviews and regular consultation with you on your job performance, the management has not observed any noticeable improvement.
You have been serving as a Career Advisor at [School’s Name] for the past five years and as per your job description, you are required to achieve a set number of acceptances for the students in foreign schools and colleges as per the defined key performance indicators. Moreover, your job also entails the engagement of the students in community service projects and participation in national and international internships.
The management has observed your falling performance which is evident from the following report:
- The annual acceptance of the students in international colleges has dropped 56% in the last two years, that shows an average of 85 acceptances, in comparison to an average of 150 for previous years
- The signing up for international college programs has been recorded to be 120 students at the time of admissions and 170 for Summer Schools, for the last two years, in comparison to an average of 290 and 375, which indicates a drop of 59% and 55% for admissions and summer schools’ applications
- On average, the Cambridge student now completes a total of 30 Community Service Hours as compared to 120 in the previous year
As highlighted above, your job performance is unsatisfactory even though you have completed all the required training and have extensive experience. Your departmental head and senior mistress have been consulting with you on the matter, and you committed to improving the performance this year. But, as indicated in the report your performance has not improved since last year. Your unsatisfactory job performance is leading to the institution’s negative impression and is indicating a failure in quality assurance for our students.
Considering, the international application process is currently closed, the management wants you to improve the performance in the context of increased students’ engagement in community service projects and internship programs. Moreover, you are also required to work on applications for Summer School Programs. Your performance will be monitored and re-evaluated after two months, if no noticeable improvement is observed the management would take the necessary disciplinary action which could involve the contract termination.
We hope that you will take your job performance seriously to avoid dire consequences. We have faith in your acquired expertise.
A copy of this letter will be placed in your personal file.
My signature indicates that I acknowledge the content of the letter and the copy of this letter will be placed in my personal file of the Human Resources Department. My signature also indicates that I may prepare and submit a response to this letter, which will be placed with a copy of this letter.
[Recipient’s Signature] [Date]
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