How to Write a Reprimand Letter

Your goal should be to write this sensitive letter without creating enemies

by WriteExpress Staff Writers
  • Before writing a reprimand letter, check to see what policies or procedures are already in place within your company or organization.
  • In most cases you should first talk with the employee face to face and then document the situation.
  • You may wish to begin your letter on a positive note by mentioning the individual’s positive behavior or qualities.
  • Be candid about why you are writing the letter—don’t beat around the bush or deemphasize the problem.
  • Define the issue in broad enough terms that your explanation covers future challenges or equivocations.
  • Include specific suggestions on how the person can improve the situation or indicate what corrective action the person must take to fix the problem, and clearly delineate the consequences if the person does not act
  • Consider ending your letter on a positive note by giving encouragement or, if appropriate, demonstrating concern, or by expressing confidence that the person will resolve the issue.
  • Have the employee sign the letter and other related documentation as evidence that the problem has been discussed. The letter then becomes part of your written record to justify future action if necessary.

Reprimand Letter Tips:

  • Be sure that your facts are accurate before making accusations or allegations.
  • Use clear, specific language so there is no room for misunderstanding.
  • Indicate why the person is being reprimanded.
  • Give specific examples of incidences which necessitate the reprimand. If this is not the first time that the issue has been addressed, refer to the previous incidences.
  • Describe any actions that have been taken or may be taken against the individual if the situation does not change.
  • Clearly state any action that the reader should take and the deadline for taking such action.

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