The Basic Steps In Producing A Written Warning Letter -


The Basic Steps In Producing A Written Warning Letter

By Gregory Covey

There is little question that preparing and delivering a written warning letter is the most difficult thing to do as a leader. It's one of those duties we should never enjoy, but unfortunately we must perform it to keep productivity high. If we ignore the problem it will have a negative impact on your business.

There is a right way and wrong way to issue employee discipline. The wrong way is to wait until you can't take the problem anymore and explode into a rage, doing and saying things that will surely get you sued. This approach is unfortunately the road most traveled by new supervisor, because they think the behavior will improve on its own.

The fact is that an employee's behavior rarely ever improves when that employee does not receive consequences for their negative actions. To compound the problem, if a supervisor chooses not to correct their poor behavior there is a big chance that other employees will take that as a green light to conduct themselves similarly. If you didn't think you had a problem before, now you really do.

The first step to make before preparing and issuing a written warning letter is specifically defining what the employee has done wrong. The second step is to ask yourself if anyone else has demonstrated this same behavior and if so, what you did about it. Remember, it is extremely important that you treat everyone the same; therefore, if you didn't take action against one you better not take action against someone else. This is the fastest way to be accused of discrimination by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

It is very easy to figure out that some behaviors cannot be tolerated, such as, stealing or fighting; however, some are more difficult to determine. For instance, can an employee have an unlimited number of unexcused absences? Or, is it fine for an employee to arrive late whenever they want?

Producing an employee handbook is an outstanding method to cover these types of policies. By covering all your employment policies in your employee handbook and providing your staff with a copy, it acts as an excellent way of insuring your employees have been made fully aware of them. This is a must for your employee disciplinary program.

So once you have determined that an employee has violated one of your work rules and you have taken action on others in the past for similar behavior, it is time to collect the evidence you have so that you can produce a written warning letter. For training purposes only, let's pretend that the employee has been tardy three times in the last ninety days. In addition, let's pretend that you have a written attendance policy that the employee signed for that states anyone with more than two unexcused tardy periods within twelve months may be subject to disciplinary action.

So here is an example of what a written warning letter could look like. "The purpose of this warning letter is to inform you that you have violated our policy on tardiness. Our tardiness policy was included in our employee handbook which you signed for on August 2, 2012. The dates and times you were tardy were; 19 minutes on May 15, 2013, 22 minutes on September 3, 2013, and 36 minutes on September 20, 2013. Should you be tardy again, or violate any company policy, you could receive additional discipline which could include immediate termination."

Preparing a written warning letter for an employee can be this simple. The secret is to only use the facts and keep everything as short as possible. Try to never include your feelings by using words like "I think." By keeping these tips in mind you should not experience any problems.

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