When an employee shows an attitude problem at work, it spoils the general working atmosphere, may even disrupt a team effort and is not professional behavior. All of these consequences will have a negative effect on the business. An employee warning letter is considered Human Resources best practices.
If the employee is a good worker and worth retaining, it is recommended that a supervisor or someone from human resources (HR) talk to him or her to try to correct the attitude.
If these oral attempts don’t achieve the required good attitude, a formal letter may be sent that should be a wake-up call for the employee to show a good attitude or be out of a job. It allows the employee to know that the employer is aware of his or her poor performance or bad behavior.
In many cases, an employer is not required to give a warning of bad behavior to an employee before dismissing them, but it is considered good to give the warning to allow the employee to correct his or her performance issues. This is the best way for the employer to avoid an unfair dismissal claim.
A warning letter is a good tool to reprimand an employee who is not performing up to standard or is disturbing the overall atmosphere. Details can be given in the letter that may be awkward to explain in person.
It is also important to have a record of the letter in case the employee wants to pretend he or she never got a warning. The employee should sign the letter and return a signed copy to the Human Resources department. This will protect the employer against any possible future disputes.
Some of the most common reasons a warning letter for an attitude problem may be sent to an employee are:
• Making threats to a colleague
• Using language that offends colleagues or underlings
• Showing disregard and carelessness in the work
• Making offensive gestures
• Missing important meetings without an acceptable reason and/or permission
• Regularly being absent from work without acceptable reasons and/or permission
• Providing forged documents or telling lies to get days off
The letter is a formal document that must mention any previous oral or written warnings about the employee’s attitude. If oral warnings were given, the time and date should be mentioned as well as the name of the person who gave the warning.
It is important that the letter state the reason the employee’s attitude is unacceptable. It is always good to have documented evidence, if possible, of behavior that results from a bad attitude.
For example, if the employee is absent without permission or misses meetings without permission, there are records of these actions. If the attitude offends other employees or is detrimental to the working environment, it is recommended to have signed affidavits from the employees who are affected. This will help the company avoid labor disputes or a lawsuit.
The letter should also clearly describe one or more incidents that are examples of the bad attitude that needs to be corrected. For example, if the employee did not attend a meeting that was required for his or her work or project and did not get permission to miss the meeting, the date, and purpose of the meeting should be stated.
In addition, if the employee is using foul language that is offensive to others in hearing distance, it should be mentioned along with the names of the employees who have complained. All personnel files, complaint forms, performance reviews and discipline warnings need to be legally compliant.
Some guidelines for issuing a warning for attitude problem are:
• The behavior must violate company policy
• No complaint should be dismissed as too trivial to investigate
• Each complaint should be judged as important or trivial on its own and an employer should not give disciplinary action on several minor complaints
• Even if an employee is a constant complainer, it should not deter the employer from investigating every complaint. The complaint may reflect the feelings of all the personnel
• A bad attitude in an employee may indicate he or she needs an outlet to express themselves to someone who will listen. This could change the bad behavior
• Employees have the right according to the National Labor Relations Act to discuss their wages and conditions of employment with customers, the press or anyone they want
• If an employee has a bad attitude due to a medical condition, the employer has the right to ask for a medical certificate
Here is a sample letter for attitude problem at work:
Sample Warning Letter for Attitude Problem
Name of Employee
Position in the Company
Name of Sender
Position in the Company
Subject: Attitude Problem at Work
Dear Name of Employee:
This is a formal warning letter that follows two oral warnings about your attitude at work. You have been orally warned on DATE by Name of Person, your direct supervisor and on DATE by Name of Person from the Human Resources Department that your language in the workplace does not reflect a professional attitude towards the work and your colleagues.
As you have failed to stop using offensive language after two oral warnings, it appears that you do not take the warning seriously. This is the reason we are sending you a written warning.
Your project manager has requested this formal warning to inform you that if you don’t immediately change your attitude, you may be terminated as per the employment contract you signed on DATE when you joined the company.
We have high expectations of all the employees in this company to maintain a professional and cordial attitude at work. You have not followed this requirement and must do so immediately or reap the consequences.
You are an asset to the company as you produce excellent work, so we would not like to dismiss you. However, the atmosphere in the workplace is important for all employees, and you must immediately abide by this warning.
Enclosed please find a copy of this letter which you are requested to sign and return to Name of Sender.
Name of Sender
Position in the company
Received by: Signature of Employee