How to write a warning letter

Written by robert lee
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How to write a warning letter
Use powerful words in a warning letter. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Warning letters are used for a variety of purposes and are common in the workplace. An employee charged with a serious violation of company policy may receive a warning letter serving as a reprimand. A credit card company could also use a warning letter to threaten legal action if a customer refuses to make payment arrangements. Use strong, powerful words in a warning letter while remaining professional. You must convince the recipient that you will take further action beyond the warning letter if necessary.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Review the reasons for the warning. Check notes, records or statements to determine why a warning letter is necessary. Review other correspondence with the person, if applicable, about the issue to ensure consistency.

  2. 2

    Write the letter using an authoritative tone. Get to the point in the first paragraph by recapping the infraction, violation or lack of action leading to the warning. For example, a warning letter to an employee about being late could start by stating that the employee continues to arrive late for work despite repeated reminders that this is unacceptable. Then write that the letter is serving as an official warning that this must stop.

  3. 3

    Write in the second paragraph what will happen if the recipient does not respond to the warning letter in an appropriate way, such as making a required payment, removing a dangerous dog from the premises -- or showing up for work on time. Tell an employee who is habitually late to work that continued tardiness could lead to suspension or termination. Tell a customer with a past-due account that failing to pay will lead to a lawsuit..

  4. 4

    End the letter by inviting the recipient to contact your by telephone if there are any questions or concerns. Add a complimentary closing such as "Sincerely yours" and sign your name. Keep a copy for your files and follow up as necessary.

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