- Verbal Discussion
- Written Warning
- Final Warning
If that goes well, then you can just state the date and a very brief description of the subject. For example, June 28th - tardiness. That is enough information. However, if the verbal discussion does not go well, then you have to make sure that you document the date and subject, but also add the reason the employee took exception to what was discussed. To be on the safe side send an email to Human Resources and/or your supervisor to alert others of how the employee received the verbal discussion if within a team environment.
The written warning lists exactly what was violated per employee handbook or job description. The critical element is to make sure it is clear in the documented form what specifically the employee can do to correct his or her behavior. Timelines are essential in this step. The employee should understand the seriousness of the document and should be given the opportunity to sign-off on it.
When it comes to written documentation, the biggest question or concern I am asked or find myself explaining is the “what if the employee refuses to sign” issue.
Whether you are the employee or the supervisor, listen up! If an employee refuses to sign a written discipline it does not mean that the document is void. The way to avoid this situation, however, is to have a member of management witness the written warning and have them sign off as well. You do not bring in anyone that is of the same employee level nor do you bring in an employee with whom they have a problem. Develop a witnessing procedure for all written documentation. Human Resources could sit in, which would be a logical choice.
Terminations are very serious and not to be entered into lightly. If you are following progressive discipline, then you have to be willing to proceed with termination if necessary.
You hear so many things about terminations that just are unnecessary. The bottom line is if you make the decision to terminate, you do not have to make the employee feel bad. Be nice people! You are not there to ruin their lives or make it difficult for them to move forward.
You state the incident and note the previous forms of discipline administered, and that’s it. You answer all their questions and make sure you provide the employee with all the information they will need regarding their final pay (determined by state), and benefits if applicable. The decision is hard, but the term does not have to be unprofessional or indignant.
What do you think? Do you have questions or suggestions? Tweet me @CorporateMoxie or use the hashtag: #HRPolitics or #CorporateMoxie