Warning Letter for Failure to Observe Protocol

A warning letter for failure to observe the protocol is a letter that is issued by an employer as a warning to his/her employee, who has not exhibited an acceptable behavior and has ignored the protocols.

There are many stated as well as unstated official protocols, few are universal while others may be company-specific. Organizations may include these protocols in their employee handbooks or reveal them through their prevalent organizational culture. This means a company defines its protocols in tangible as well as intangible terms. When a person becomes an employee of an organization, he automatically understands and gets hold of the protocols, that are required to be followed, by spending time in the company.

Employees are expected to follow these protocols to exhibit acceptable behavior at official meetings, formal gatherings, presentations, etc. The observance of the proper protocols reveals the decorum of an organization.

If an employee does not show an officially acceptable behavior, it is usually intolerable for the company, as the overall protocols being followed by an organization embarks an impression on its clients. In addition, the clients or colleagues may even get offended by incorrect behavior and deem it disrespectful. Therefore, a company cannot ignore such employee behavior and seeks a proper observance of protocols from their employees.

The casual and improper attitude of an employee may attract complaints against him from fellow colleagues or clients. Resultantly, the company issues a written warning to the employee. Sometimes, initially, the companies try to resolve the issue through an oral warning. However, if the problem remains unresolved, a written warning is the next step.

The warning letter issued to an employee for failing to observe protocols may entail various details, that may differ from one organization to the other. An organization may design a template or use a generalized template, which has been edited based on the company information and requirements. The general information in such a warning letter include:

  • Date
  • Addresser details
  • Addressee details
  • The issue, problem, complaint, and any specific incident
  • Importance of protocols to the organization
  • Warning
  • Consequences in the case of repetition
  • The hope of improvement
  • Salutations and signature

Employees try to avoid such letters, as they are official warnings and become a record in the employee file. Such letters can be used as a reference in the future and may affect employee evaluations, promotions, etc. In the worst scenario, such letters may become the basis for the employee’s termination.

Sample Letter




Dear Ms. Michelle,

This letter is being issued to you as a warning for not following the protocols during the meeting with one of our major international clients Mr. [ABC] on 13th February, 20XX.

The human resource department has often received complaints against you from other employees for not observing the protocols during the official meetings. However, this time the client has launched a complaint itself, which forced us to issue this warning letter. ABC is a significant client, and we cannot afford a bad relationship with it. Knowing that you still exhibited unacceptable behavior.

Being the employee of XYZ, you are well aware of the importance we give to the stated as well as the unstated protocols. Yet, you often show your casual behavior and offend other people.

We warn you to change your behavior, else, next time, a termination letter would be issued instead of a warning letter.

We hope that from now on, you will show improved manners and observe protocols properly. We seek a better change.


Steven Smith.

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