When and how should a warning letter be issued?

What are warning letters and why issue them?
Warning letters serve as a formal mechanism to address and rectify employee performance, behavior, or policy violations. They are intended to clearly communicate issues, set expectations for improvement, and outline potential consequences if the issues are not resolved. Warning letters are a crucial part of maintaining workplace standards and ensuring that all employees understand the seriousness of their actions and the importance of adhering to company policies and expectations. 

In many countries, progressive termination proceedures exist and employees can only be terminated if efforts to rectify the employment relationship/performance have been made and are well documented e.g. with warning letters.

When to issue warning letters?

  1. Performance Issues: When an employee consistently fails to meet job performance standards or targets despite prior feedback and support.
  2. Behavioral Issues: In cases of inappropriate behavior, such as harassment, discrimination, insubordination, or other conduct violations.
  3. Attendance Issues: For repeated lateness, unauthorized absences, or failure to follow attendance policies.
  4. Policy Violations: When an employee breaches company policies, including safety regulations, confidentiality agreements, or code of conduct.

How to issue warning letters?

For warning letters to be compliant, they need to be issued by the official employer of record, thus by Horizons.

  • Document the Issue: Ensure that you have documented evidence of the issue, including dates, times, and specifics of incidents or performance metrics.

  • Private Discussion: Have a private discussion with the employee to address the issue before issuing a formal warning. 

  • Contact support@joinhorizons.com and provide the following information: 

    • Date: Clearly state the date the letter is supposed to being issued.
    • Details of the Issue: Provide a detailed description of the issue, including specific instances, dates, and any previous discussions or warnings.
    • Impact: Explain the impact of the employee's behavior or performance on the team, project, or company.
    • Expectations: Clearly outline the expected behavior or performance going forward.
    • Consequences: Specify potential consequences if the issue is not resolved, such as further disciplinary action or termination.
    • Support Offered: Mention any support or resources available to help the employee improve, such as training or counseling.

Horizons will then draft the warning letter, share it with you for review and once approved, deliver it to the employee. Depending on regional regulations, this can be a digital letter or a hard copy. The employee will be required to sign the letter to confirm the receipt. 

Should you have any questions on how and when to issue a warning letter, please write an email to support@joinhorizons.com and our team will support you. 

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