How to Write an Employee a Written Warning

Written by kara page
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How to Write an Employee a Written Warning
A written warning serves as official documentation of an employee's transgressions. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

As a supervisor or manager, you may find yourself in a situation where you must discipline an employee. Doing so with a written warning creates an official dated record that proves you took disciplinary action and makes it clear to the employee that the warning may be used to document past misconduct should trouble arise with the employee again. For this reason, your written warning should be done in an official memo format, with a copy saved for your own personal records.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Start a new document with your company's letterhead at the top. Double space beneath the letterhead and type the current date.

  2. 2

    Double space and type "To:", followed by the employee's full name and official job title. For example: "To: John Smith, Assistant Manager." Double space beneath this and type "From:", followed by your name (or the name of the supervisor you are writing on behalf of) and title. For example: "From: Mary Jones, Head Manager."

  3. 3

    Double space and type a subject field that informs the recipient this memo is a written warning. For example: "Subject: Written Warning."

  4. 4

    Type one to two sentences informing the employee of why he is receiving this warning, and what negative impact this action has had. Be clear and succinct, citing any relevant dates or company policy numbers. For example: "You are being issued this warning for repeated absences in the month of August, which caused your department to miss four deadlines during that month."

Tips and warnings

  • If your company has a policy in place regarding written warnings, you may consider copying and pasting the instructions on what the employee should do next, or what action will be taken by the company should the problem continue.

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