Are you faced with having to write a Warning Letter and you don’t have a clue as to where to begin? Don’t feel like the Lone Ranger! Everyone that hasn’t written one feels the exact same way! The good news is that they are not all that hard provided you include all the important elements so that you have a written document to use as evidence if the behavior gets worse! Don’t forget also that you can always use a simple Employee Written Warning Form. This will include everything you need to make sure that if you have to use it in a legal proceeding you will be prepared.
Generally in the first paragraph of a Warning Letter you want to declare what it is and what violation they violated! Here is an example of a typical first paragraph for someone being excessively Tardy.
John, you are being issued this Letter Warning for Excessive Tardiness, which is a violation of our company policy. You received a copy of our Employee Handbook during your employee orientation on June 4, 2005.
This is a very simple way to begin a Warning Letter and it need not be any more difficult than this. This same simple sentence can be added right into an Employee Written Warning Form.
The next piece of important information in a Warning Letter should spell out exactly what the employee did that violated your company policy in your Employee Handbook.
Here is a simple example of how easy it can be;
Specifically, you were tardy eight minutes on July 7, 2006, eleven minutes on August 3, 2006, and finally fourteen minutes on September 25, 2006. In addition, you failed to notify your supervisor that you were going to be tardy. After speaking with you on each of those dates, you informed your supervisor that you were just running late.
Again, a Warning Letter does not have to be complicated and can be presented on an Employee Written Warning Form. The other format which is a little bit more of a pain is to type it out and place it on your company letter head. Please don’t forget to have a simple Employee Handbook that spells out your company policies. This is extremely simple and inexpensive to accomplish with all the Employee Policy Software out there prepared by professional attorney’s who specialize in this type of law.
The final piece of a Written Warning is to spell out the correct behavior. This can be done just as easily and here is an example;
As explained on the company Employee Handbook you are to be to work on time and ready to begin work prior to your shift beginning. If you are unable to be at work on time you are required to notify your supervisor and request permission. However, notifying your supervisor is no guarantee that you will be excused from reporting to work on time. The correct telephone number to call is xxx-xxx-xxxx.
The final piece is just to clarify what will happen if the employee continues to not follow company policy as defined in your company Employee Handbook. Here is a short example:
John, if you continue to violate company policy you will receive additional discipline up to and including possible termination.
Make sure you both sign the document whether it is on Letter Head or an Employee Written Warning Form. If the employee refuses to sign the document you simply call in a witness and go over the information again; however, this time the witness will sign that the employee refused to sign.
If the employee decides to get up and leave the meeting, I have always used this technique to put that to an immediate stop. I simply say;
“If you want to leave you are free to do so; however, I will accept that as your resignation!”
They immediately turn around and sit right back down. I have never had one employee continue out the door!
In either case good luck! You will have no problems doing this!
Good Luck and May God Bless You!
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