A letter of reprimand, sometimes called a letter of admonition, is a letter that is issued to employees of a business when they engage in actions that are contrary to their expected behavior. In this case a letter of reprimand due to poor performance is a letter issued to an employee when they perform below expectations after various coaching and guidance.
Employees who persist in behavior that makes them fail at their jobs eventually need to formally hear about the problems.
By the time a supervisor or HR reaches the point of needing to write a formal letter of reprimand, he or she has likely invested several hours of coaching and counseling in helping the employee improve her performance.
Creating the paper trail that may lead to dismissal is prudent for the employer. It also keeps the employee from being blindsided when his employment is ended. It's always best to clearly state the problems, the potential outcomes, and the needed performance improvement in writing.
Guidelines for Letter of Reprimand to Employee for Poor Performance
- You can start the letter with a positive tone before moving on to the main issue. You should focus on highlighting the incident. Reprimand your employee but don't make remarks about his/her character.
- You can discuss the employee's previous record and compliment any individual accomplishments.
- Describe the details of the incident or unethical practice. Avoid insulting the employee or employees. Don't talk about your suspicions, give facts. If you have spoken about this issue with your employees before, remind them about it.
- Ask your employees to improve the situation. You should give suggestions in this regard. If you want them to work on a goal, mention that too. Express your willingness to listen to their point of view.
- End on a positive note by expressing your confidence in the reader's willingness to do something about rectifying the situation.
See attached Sample Letter of Reprimand/Admonition to Employee for Poor Performance