How to Properly Write Up an Employee

When a manager decides to write up an employee, there are a number of things he or she must do in order to make sure that the discipline is effective and fair. Simply writing a short paragraph, signing it, and putting it the employee’s permanent file is not enough, yet it is done quite often, even by larger employers. Managers must take their time and be thorough in order to make sure the write-up process impacts the employee’s performance in a positive way.

Instructions:

1. Verify any and all data associated with the employee’s unsatisfactory work performance. This is extremely important because sometimes managers jump to conclusions or let their emotions affect their decision to write up an employee. It’s important to make sure the employee’s performance necessitates a write-up based on factual information, not hearsay from other employees.

2. Schedule a time during the employee’s shift to sit down and talk with them. Don’t talk to them before or after work when they are on their own time. If they feel you’re taking away their free time, they may respond with more frustration and will likely be unreceptive to the process.

3. Create a document using a word processing program with the heading “Efficiency Improvement Plan.” Include all of the employee’s information near the top of this document such as their name and employee number. Leave the body of the document blank, but designate a space near the bottom for you and the employee to sign. Fill in the center of the document by hand, outlining some of the employee’s performance problems that need improvement, but don’t list more than 5 problems.

4. Inform the employee that you want to speak with them about their work performance. Tell them that you’re going to be reading through an efficiency improvement plan in order to outline some of the problems with their work performance. Make sure to keep a firm but cordial tone, and be polite the entire time.

5. Explain all of the problems to the employee and have a discussion about how these things can improve. Make sure to let them know that your main goal is to help them achieve their full potential. Take notes from your discussion on the improvement plan and make sure you outline what needs to happen for the employee’s performance to improve and that they agree to this new direction. Have them sign the agreement once the conversation is done and place it in their permanent work file.

Tips:

Be respectful and courteous throughout the entire process. Just because you have to write up an employee doesn’t mean that you have to be rude or overbearing. Everyone deserves respect and responds better to fair treatment than being dictated to. Remember that your end goal should be helping the employee reach their true potential, not secretly building a case in order to fire them.

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