As a manager or supervisor, it’s important to maintain a fair and productive work environment for your employees. However, sometimes employees may fall short of expectations or violate company policies. In such cases, it becomes necessary to take disciplinary action, which may include writing an employee write-up.
Download your employee write-up template here!
What is an Employee Write Up?
An employee write-up is a document that records an employee’s performance, behavior, and any violations of company policies. It serves as a formal warning to the employee and also provides a written record that can be used for future reference. Ronna DeLoe, an attorney from LegalZoom, said a write-up serves to both document employee conduct and establish an improvement plan.
Write-ups can be used for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Addressing repeated tardiness or absences
- Poor job performance
- Violating company policies or procedures
- Inappropriate behavior or conduct
- Harassment or discrimination
- Safety violations
Let’s break down how to prepare an employee write-up, with a step-by-step guide. You can also download the template above, and see an example below.
Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing an Employee Write-Up
STEP 1: GATHER INFORMATION
Before writing an employee write-up, it’s important to gather all the necessary information. This includes reviewing the employee’s performance records, attendance records, and any relevant company policies. It’s also important to talk to witnesses and gather any other relevant information to ensure that the write-up is fair and accurate.
- The date and time of the incident
- A description of the incident or behavior
- Any witnesses or evidence
- Any previous incidents or warnings
- Company policies or procedures that were violated
- The impact of the behavior or performance issue on the company or other employees
STEP 2: IDENTIFY THE ISSUE
The next step is to identify the issue that led to the need for a write-up. This could be a violation of company policy, poor performance, or any other issue that is affecting the employee’s work. It’s important to be specific and provide details about the issue, including the date, time, and location of the incident.
STEP 3: DETERMINE THE CONSEQUENCES
After identifying the issue, it’s important to determine the consequences of the employee’s actions. This could range from a verbal warning to suspension or termination, depending on the severity of the issue. It’s important to be consistent with the consequences outlined in the company policies.
STEP 4: WRITE THE EMPLOYEE WRITE-UP
Once all the information has been gathered and the consequences have been determined, it’s time to write the employee write-up. The write-up should be clear, concise, and objective. It should include a brief summary of the issue, the consequences, and any steps the employee needs to take to improve their performance or behavior. It’s important to avoid using personal opinions or emotions when writing the document.
STEP 5: REVIEW AND APPROVE
After writing the employee write-up, it’s important to review it carefully for accuracy and completeness. It’s also important to seek approval from the appropriate parties, such as the HR department or the employee’s supervisor. Once the write-up has been approved, it should be provided to the employee in a private setting.
Finally, you need to deliver the write-up to the employee. Schedule a meeting with the employee to discuss the write-up and provide a copy for their records. Be sure to give the employee an opportunity to respond and ask questions. It’s important to remain calm and professional during the meeting and to focus on finding a solution to the issue.
Example of How to Write up an Employee
To better understand how to prepare an employee write-up, here’s an example:
Description of the Issue:
On [date], at approximately [time], I observed that you arrived to work 20 minutes late. This is the fourth time you have been tardy in the past two weeks, despite previous verbal warnings.
This written warning serves as a final notice regarding your tardiness. Any future instances of tardiness may result in suspension or termination. You are expected to arrive on time for your scheduled shift starting on [date], and any future tardiness will be viewed as a violation of company policy.
We expect that you will take immediate action to correct your behavior and arrive on time for your shifts. If you have any concerns or obstacles preventing you from arriving on time, please discuss them with your supervisor.
Consequences of Not Improving:
Failure to improve your punctuality may result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Employee Signature: ___________________________ Date: ___________
Supervisor Signature: ___________________________ Date: ___________
Preparing an employee write-up can be a difficult but necessary task for managers and HR professionals. By following a clear and consistent process, using a template, and providing a clear improvement plan, employers can help employees correct their behavior or performance issues and maintain a positive work environment. Remember to remain calm and professional during the process, and focus on finding a solution to the issue at hand. Ultimately, writing up an employee will be beneficial in the long term. Getting comfortable and familiar with the process will help!