Criticize an employee for poor performance. Sample letter


  1. Start the letter with a positive tone and then move on to the main issue. Focus on highlighting the incident. Reprimand your employee but don't make remarks about his/her character. Also, read "Document Employee Reprimands."
  2. Discuss the employee's previous record and compliment any individual accomplishments.
  3. Describe the details of the incident or unethical practice. Don't insult 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.
  4. 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.
  5. End on a positive note by expressing your confidence in the reader's willingness to do something about rectifying the situation.


[Senders Name]
[Address line]
[State, ZIP Code]

[Letter Date]

[Recipients Name]
[Address line]
[State, ZIP Code]

[Subject: Normally bold, summarizes the intention of the letter] -Optional-

Dear [Recipients Name],

No employee can be successful in completing the tasks at hand if he or she is not at work to initiate the days agenda.

I have just had the time to look at the attendance reports for the past month and am deeply disappointed that the records show that you were absent six times. That is more than one full week of wasted opportunity to get work done. The more concerning fact about this is that you did not submit any medical documents or paperwork that would have validated your absences.

The company cannot and will not tolerate behavior like this. Please let this memo serve as a stern reprimand and be advised that any further unexcused absences may be grounds for termination. I sincerely hope that it will not have to resort to that.


[Senders Name]
[Senders Title] -Optional-

[Enclosures: number] - Optional -
cc: [Name of copy recipient] - Optional -

Criticize an employee for poor performance. Sample letter.

Further things to consider when writing reprimand letters to employees

Further things to consider when writing reprimand letters to employees

Reprimand Letters

Reprimand letters are letters written to rebuke or criticize others because of their actions or behavior. These are usually written by supervisors at work and used as an official statement of a behavior an employee needs to improve. A reprimand letter specifically and clearly points out the behavior or performance problem an employee is supposed to improve as well as the consequences if he/she shows no improvement. In most cases, a reprimand letter is preceded by a formal verbal warning about the issue. It is one of the major elements that constitute a company's disciplinary process.

Effective reprimand letters use strong, yet respectable tone. Prior to writing, check to see that the company procedures and policies are in place. Start by mentioning the recipient's positive qualities or behavior. Make a clear statement of the performance issue or behavior that the recipient must improve. Explain how this has impacted the company negatively. Enumerate specific suggestions on how the recipient can improve the situation. Describe any actions that will be taken against the recipient if the situation doesn't change. End on a positive note that gives encouragement, demonstrates concern, or that expresses confidence that the recipient will resolve the issue.

Letters to Employees

Letters to employees are letters written to individuals who work for an organization or for another person. If you are an employer or manage a group of employees, the chances are that you will have to write to the employees at some point. It could be an introduction letter to introduce a new product or service to salespersons, a rejection letter to turn down an employee's request for a promotion, or a thank-you letter to thank an employee for his/her hard work. You could also write a termination letter to fire an employee for his/her poor performance. Whatever the reason for your writing, the letter must be formal and professional.

All letters to employees must be addressed with the proper names of the recipients. But if your message is intended for all employees in general, you can address your letter as "To all employees". State the purpose of the letter. Convey your message briefly but clearly, highlighting all the important details. If the issue that you are writing about requires further explanation, make sure to offer your explanation in a way that the recipient can easily understand. Wrap it up with a positive note or a call to action.

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