How To Give an Employee a Written Warning

Employers oftentimes have problems dealing with employees who need disciplinary action. When faced with the problem of delinquent employees, some employers respond by directly firing the employee without giving any warning.

The employees should know what to do already. However, in fairness to employees, especially the new ones, that should not be the case. Rules and regulations are already laid down on the company's handbook or contract, but employers should also follow labor laws effective in their state or locality.

There should be some kind of communication whether regarding the kinds of behavior the company will tolerate. There should be procedures for warning the employees to get their act together and do what is expected of them. There may be a verbal warning first, telling him not to do certain things, in a calm manner. You may want to give a written warning for employees who still persist on displaying bad attitude and behavior. So, how would you write a written warning? Here are the steps.

Consider the problem first. You do not have to give the warning once you have heard about his poor performance or his tardiness. Know why he is late or why he poorly performed. Fix the problem while it is on the onset so that the employee will not think that his actions are tolerated. You may even want to have a private talk with the employee to know what the reasons for his actions are and understand why he misbehaves.

Give the employee a written warning. This should include the reasons for the notice and the consequences if he continues to do the same things over and over. You should also attach documentation of the times when they were tardy or did not perform correctly. Remind him about the things that he told you during your private conversation.

Explain to him that his actions are affecting other employees and the company's reputation. Do not hesitate to tell him that if he will not clean up his act, he will be terminated from work. Do not tell them that if they will do the same thing again, they will be suspended. This will give them an idea that they can do the same thing over again, since they will only receive a suspension. However, do this in a subtle manner. Do not have that tone of being angry. Just be sure to assert your authority.

Have the document signed. You and the concerned employee should both sign the written warning, so that they document will be binding. The date should be included too, for documentation purposes. Give the employee a copy of the warning so that he will have a frequent reminder of what he should do. If he is serious about shaping up, then he will take the warning constructively.

Managing an employee who may need guidance is a difficult thing to do. But you have to extend your patience since this is a test of your leadership and judgment skills. Maybe he is undergoing something that you do not know. Let him know that you are still human. Show the employee that you are serious about discipline, but you can extend a helping hand when needed.


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