Warning Letter to Employee for Lack of Responsibility

A warning letter is issued by either a human resource manager or supervisor when an employee fails to meet the expected outcomes outlined in his/her job description. The letter highlights the urgency and seriousness of the subject in question.

Before writing the formal letter, the manager or the supervisor ensures that the employee has been consulted on the matter, and has been given prior verbal warnings. They also ensure that the employee is well aware of his/her performance matrix, evaluation criteria, and the negative or positive impacts of his/her performance on the overall organization’s goals.

There might arise cases at a workplace which make it a need of the hour to issue a warning letter to an employee, the cases may include poor performance, lack of responsibility, or misconduct. As a result of negligence in the assigned responsibilities, the employee becomes inefficient, starts procrastinating, misses deadlines, avoids taking the lead, and holding himself/herself accountable, thereby leading to negative impacts on his/her performance.

Lack of responsibility is a leading cause of poor performance and depends on various factors, such as:

  • Lack of interest in the work assigned
  • Fear of taking a risk, and bringing in innovation and creativity
  • Failure to understand a complex set of problems  and finding a resolve

A warning letter for the aforementioned reason should be written with a consideration that the employee receiving the letter gets a clear message of how serious the issue is, and how the company would go about it if similar negligence is repeated. The tone of the letter should be formal and firm, yet polite so that the employee may reach out to the management for assistance if required.

Letter Sample

Name of Employee and designation

Dear Mr. Employee,

This letter is to serve an official warning by the management of XYZ for your negligence toward the responsibilities assigned to you. It has been observed that you have been frequently missing deadlines and arriving late to the office for the past few months without prior notice.

The management wants to draw your attention to a few discussions that were held with you earlier in this regard;

  • The front desk officer shared with you a complete record of your late arrivals for the last two months and the HR manager sent an official email to you and your supervisor for the same matter mentioning that disciplinary action will be taken if the same issue prevailed in next quarter. You not only acknowledged the warning but also made a commitment for being careful in future
  • As per your head of the department, you failed to turn in monthly reports for the last two months on time. Despite the verbal and informal warning by your supervisor and manager, similar action has been observed for this month

However, having reviewed your previous record of serving the organization to the best of your abilities, the management has decided to monitor and reassess your performance till next month. Furthermore, you are required you share the delayed report by tomorrow.

The management reserves a right to terminate your contract if any improvement is not observed. Therefore, you are advised to improve your performance and meet the management’s expectations to the best of your abilities.

If you need any assistance or want to communicate the reasons for your negligence, kindly reach out to me or supervisor. We would be more than willing to extend support.


HR Manager Name

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