Before taking action on a misconducting employee, it is essential to issue them a verbal warning and give them a chance to change their performance and conduct. By issuing a verbal warning, you are giving the underperforming employee time to change, after which further disciplinary actions shall be taken if they have not changed. Below are some dos and don’ts when issuing a verbal warning.

Keep a record of your verbal warning.

You can put your verbal warning and the employees’ response in writing and file them in the employees’ file for future reference. If the employee does not change, you can use it to show a pattern of misconduct when taking further disciplinary action.

Keep your tone calm and professional.

A harsh tone does not necessarily mean that the employee will follow your guidelines. When using a calm and professional tone, the employee is more likely to follow your lead as it indicates that you want them to succeed in their work. At some point, the employee might get angry but you must ensure you remain calm.

Send a follow-up email.

After issuing a verbal warning at work, send a follow-up email to your employee after a week or two to check up on their progress. This also reminds your employee that you are watching their performance and behavior while in the company.

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Do not belittle your employee.

Every employee in the company has an important role that they play in ensuring the company runs smoothly. When issuing a verbal warning, show respect and show them the value they bring to your company.

Do not ignore problematic behavior.

No matter how much you like an employee and do not wish to issue them with a verbal warning, it is essential to address problematic behaviors like racism to avoid any serious issues arising in the future. 

Do not lack consistency.

Do not mistreat your employees by issuing a verbal warning to some and failing to warn others with the same behaviors. Consistency will improve peace and fairness, which will prevent negative culture in the company.

Avoid bringing up other issues.

Avoid bringing up other issues unrelated to the behavior you are issuing the verbal warning. Be fair to your employee and stay focused on the conduct you are issuing a verbal warning.

Listen to your employees’ explanations.

A conversation goes both ways. Give your employee to explain themselves and give reasons for their behavior. You might realize that your employee is in a critical and unavoidable situation causing their recent behavior. You might try adjusting the work schedule to help them to improve their performance.

A behavior going against the companies’ policies and rules that is consistent will be considered misconduct. Employees with such consistent behaviors without a sign of change should be issued a verbal warning to encourage them to change. A company should not tolerate any problematic behavior that may lead the company to face more severe consequences in the future.

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Originally posted 2022-07-01 01:36:28.


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