At one time or another, an incident or a violation can happen in the workplace. It’s the people form a workplace so these occurrences are natural. When this happens, it is the general practice to fill out an employee write-up form to clearly explain and record the incident or violation. This gives your employees the chance to know what violation they have committed and how it happened.
Employee Write-Up Forms
What is an employee write-up form?
An employee write-up form is a document written and used by the Human Resources Department of a company. It highlights when the behavior or job performance of one of your employees has steadily deteriorated and caused problems in terms of their efficiency and productivity.
You can use a write-up template to explain and convey the expectations from your employees with regard to changes in behavior or productivity. Moreover, the form also emphasizes what may happen if the employee’s unacceptable behavior or poor job performance should continue in the future.
However, you shouldn’t create this form as your first resort. In the beginning, you would first give your employees verbal and written warnings only. But you have to keep these warning letters in the personnel files of your employees.
Write Up Templates
What to include?
If it is your first time to encounter a situation where you have to compose an employee write-up form, you may resort to a professional template. There are different versions of these forms online.
Choose the one that satisfies your requirements then fill it up with the required information. When customizing or making your own simple write up form, make sure to include these components:
- The name of the employee.
- The name of the employee’s supervisor.
- The department of the employee.
- The date when you will send the letter.
- A description of the violation.
- An employer statement.
- A worker statement.
- A warning decision.
- A list of any previous warnings you had given.
You should let your employee sign the template along with their supervisor, and your signature too – if you prepared the letter. Once you have completed the document, make 3 copies:
- Give one copy to the employee.
- Give one copy to the employee’s supervisor.
- Keep one copy in the employee’s personnel file with the HR department.
Disciplinary Write Up Forms
How do you write up a written warning for an employee?
An employee write-up form may cover a checklist of the most common disciplinary issues or job performance problems. You may download a template or you can make your own disciplinary write up for your employees by following these steps:
- Use your employee handbook as your reference
You should know the exact employee handbook procedures or policies that your employee violated. This way, they cannot accuse you of any unfair treatment.
- Be as specific as possible
One of the primary purposes of this write-up is to record the details that you can use for future reference. This is why you need to be very specific in your documentation.
- Include any relevant statements from witnesses
Without the statement of witnesses to the incident, the whole issue would boil down to your word against the employee or vice versa. This isn’t a solid foundation on which you should base your case, should legal action become necessary.
Witnesses are an important part of this form. You must follow the stringent guidelines that you take for legal documentation when taking statements from witnesses.
- Talk to the employee personally
After you have completed filling the form, you have to schedule a face-to-face meeting with your employee to go through the information in the form. As much as possible, set the meeting a day after the incident.
This gives you and your employee the chance to cool off so emotions aren’t running as high anymore. Also, include another manager or a trusted employee in the meeting to serve as a witness to what you discussed with your employee.
- Get your employee to sign the form
It is important that your employee affixes their signature on the document after you have explained the document’s contents. This is an assurance that the employee cannot come back at you with claims that you didn’t inform them of the disciplinary action. Should the employee refuse to sign, make a note of this in the document.
- Give your employee a chance to respond
To make the write up more effective, you should also consider your employee’s perspective. Maybe it was just a case of misunderstanding that you could have easily cleared up by hearing their side of the story. Always consider your employee’s response so it doesn’t look like neglect on your part should your employee take legal action.
- Set expectations for your employee to improve
There are some forms that include an action plan that focuses on employee improvement. You can achieve this by setting expectations in writing so that your employee knows where to go from there. In the absence of an action plan for improvement, you can explain these actions to your employee during your meeting.
Focus on the issue, not the person when communicating corrective feedback of this kind. You can think of this corrective feedback for your employee to improve their job performance and behavior. It is also important to list down the repercussions if your employee chooses to ignore your corrective feedback.
- Keep a copy of the document in your employee’s personnel file
Provide your employee with a copy of the document as soon as you have completed the face-to-face meeting. Place another copy in their personal file for future reference. If your employee gets terminated, you should still keep their personnel files for at least 1 year starting after their official termination date.
- Set a schedule for follow-up
Remember that the disciplinary process doesn’t end after the signing of the document. You must follow-up in the weeks or months after the violation. In an ideal setting, you should assign various follow-up dates on the written form so that your employee knows what to expect in the future.
If there is no sign of improvement on the part of the employee, both of you would know the next steps because you have written them down on the form. There will be no way for your employee to say that they didn’t know these consequences.