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Here's how to do it right. The CEO of a small company has a wide range of performance-management tools at his or her disposal. The warning letter is kept at the back of that arsenal, only dusted off when there is a serious or chronic problem.
Typically a warning letter would be preceded by verbal conversations between the employee and his or her supervisor, both at performance reviews and in the course of the job. However, "the written communication, by its very nature, suggests that things are more serious at this point and also suggests that maybe [the supervisor's] prior communication wasn't clear enough," says Steve Kane, a human resources consultant based in Hillsborough, California.
Here's how to write, deliver, and follow up on a warning letter telling an employee to shape up. Does the Situation Call for a Warning Letter?
Though each company may choose to handle employee infractions differently, and the protocol will obviously change depending on the severity of the misconduct, there is a conventional progression for issuing increasingly serious warnings to the employee.
If the warning letter is being issued in response to a serious one-time offense rather than a problem that's been developing over time, it makes sense to bypass the initial verbal warnings and proceed straight to the written reprimand.
However, giving your employees continual positive and negative "feedback on their performance is the most important thing because any warning should not come as a surprise," says Kane. But a written warning is often an indication that there has been some miscommunication on the employee or the employer's part, or both.
A warning letter "cues them in that this is not something you're telling me in passing but this is really critical to my job performance. Common Problems There are as many reasons to write a warning letter as there are types of behavioral and performance problems with an employee.
That said some problems are far more common than others. Yet another type of problem is more common still than any of the issues listed above, and that is the quality or quantity of an employee's output.
The quantity of work an employee does can increase with additional effort on his or her part but the same is not always true of the quality. For example, "if somebody just doesn't have artistic talent, it doesn't do a whole lot of good to give them 17 warnings," Kane says.
As a result, a sympathetic employer will attempt to be more accommodating of an employee's repeatedly failing to make their quota.
If it's a certain skill that the employee is lacking, you could help them secure training within the organization or even reimburse them for outside classes. Kane explains, "it's expensive to terminate employees so you want to help them succeed. Who Should Write the Letter?
Whoever writes the warning letter, and they are often ghostwritten by a human resources specialist, the letter itself should come from the employee's direct supervisor. However, "the actual decision to formally write [the letter] up might involve more levels of the organization," Williams says.
As for whether to consult a lawyer when crafting a warning letter, in most cases it's a good belt-and-suspenders measure if you can afford it, but some experts say it's unnecessary.
Instead, the time to consult a lawyer is when you are first putting your disciplinary policy in place. In certain circumstances, however, getting the input of an attorney can be crucial.
When you encounter situations that are completely outside of your ken, or need to be handled delicately because of a confluence of factors, it's time to get your general counsel on the horn.
For example, Reed says that if the employee in question recently "made complaints of racial or gender discrimination, yet the behavior or performance problem does exist, it's a good idea to talk to an attorney about how you might approach that person.
The lawyer will sit down with you and say, "'gee, let's see if we can figure out a way to defend your potentially goofy policy," Kane says. Should Your Lawyer Specialize in Entrepreneurship? Still, it can be useful both for reminding an employee of what you've already told them and when, and for protecting you in the event of a lawsuit down the road.
Once you're at the stage of issuing a warning letter, you may want to ask the employee to sign somewhere on the document to confirm that they received it and to verify that they understand and agree to conditions they must meet. Some employees are resistant to that idea but Kane suggests that "if they say they won't sign it, then the smart thing to say is 'okay, would you mind writing something that says I refuse to sign?
What it Should Contain There are three main components of the body of a warning letter to an employee. First you need to outline the prior conduct that was unacceptable then you need to identify, by contrast, the required or expected conduct.
That way, there is as little room as possible for misinterpretation. The tone of the warning letter can also vary dramatically depending on the severity of the infraction the employee has committed. At the two extremes, you can either create "a formal letter that's really designed to open the door for improving the employee's performance," says Williams, or one "that's really just documenting the reasons why you've got to let them go.
How to Deliver It Once you've written the warning letter, the most difficult task is still ahead of you. It's not the kind of thing you can just leave on an employee's desk or shoot to them in an e-mail. It has to be accompanied by an in-person conversation.
This conversation is also a good point of reference for the employee in case "you worded the letter more harshly or more leniently than you intended to," Williams says.Apr 09, · A tour of your query list on ashio-midori.com Skip navigation Sign in.
Search. Leave, Holidays & Weekends in this Excel Employee Manager [Part 7 2 Quick Tips on Writing Query Letters.
Valuable information on writing a query letter Mar 7th, General Last modified 8 months ago Making the best query is the main intends to make it in the printing market.
A warning letter to an employee is issued by the boss/employer for unacceptable behavior or action on the part of the employee.
This letter is used as a last resort to inform the employee that his/her actions will not be taken lightly hereafter and that he/she has to mend ways. An employee query letter is written by an employee for the following possible reasons: He or she has questions regarding the salary received for a duration of time.
There are business processes that the employee wants to clear. Warning letter (absence) Template 5 PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL Dear [Employee name], Re: Absence from work without notification You have been absent from work on [number] consecutive work days [insert dates] without providing any notification or reason for your absence.
Learn more about query letter writing in the online course How to Query Letter in 14 Days, from Writer’s Digest University. Brian A. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writer’s Digest and author of the popular gift .