Issuing warnings is always a tricky task because you need to be sure what type of warning you are giving and why, but also if it is justified?
When you are about to give someone a warning, make sure you have read and understood what your warning process says for each of your warnings – for example, caution or expectations meeting, verbal warning, first written, second written or final written warning.
A verbal warning is the most common I come across. Clients will tell me that they had an issue with Joe Bloggs and spoke to them and then finished the process with a verbal warning, but no formal meeting or follow-up. Unfortunately, this not the correct process.
Before giving someone a warning, consider the following;
- Did you check what your warning process is? Are there examples to confirm what warning you can issue?
- Did you meet formally with the person to address the issue and ask them to bring a support person?
- Did you gather all the relevant facts about the issue and address them at the meeting?
- Did you allow the person to give you their version of events and comments on the allegations?
- Once you considered their comments, did their actions justify a warning? If so, what is the appropriate warning?
When you issue any type of warning, such as having a stern conversation with someone who isn’t following instructions, always make sure after the meeting that you follow-up with an email or letter confirming your expectations and what the consequences could be per your warning process.
HR is about following good process.
If you’re not good at it, get in touch with us, because we are really good at HR process and we will help you through those tricky employment situations, which can be time-consuming but easily avoided when you follow the right process.