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Got to give member of staff a verbal warning and not sure how

(8 Posts)
wangle99 Tue 23-Aug-11 21:21:04

Got two members of staff, one definately (possibly both) need to be given verbal warnings and I'm not sure how to go about it.

I manage the office with another lady who is a bit motherly and it's not really her thing hence it being most probably left to me.

Any advice as I don't want to cock it up!

Thank you!

inmysparetime Wed 24-Aug-11 06:44:21

Have their contracts in front of you, along with any supporting paperwork or testimony you have based the warning on. Call them in one at a time or they'll try to gang up on you, and don't give them time to talk between warnings. Explain what the warning is for, where it will be recorded and how long for, and what action they need to take to improve their performance or behaviour. Explain that the verbal warning is the first step in the disciplinary process, and what will happen if their behaviour or performance does not change. Allow time for them to cry and explain their view of the situation, but do not revoke the warning unless they provide concrete proof.

hopenglory Wed 24-Aug-11 07:15:23

Make it very clear that it is a verbal warning. Document it well

wangle99 Wed 24-Aug-11 08:25:09

Thank you. Will make sure all documented and start putting together evidence. One is a performance issue (or many performance issues lol) The other I think is just young and naive so may not take the verbal warning route just have a 'chat'.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 24-Aug-11 08:28:17

If the other lady is willing to be present, I'd strongly suggest that, she doesn't need to say anything. And follow up the conversation with something written - an email is fine, just 'confirming today's discussions'. Both things will help you if the behaviour persists, because you need a trail to show that you've had the conversation if you have to get to the next step.

flowery Wed 24-Aug-11 10:58:14

You cannot just 'call them in' and give them a disciplinary warning on the spot without representation or a chance to defend themselves.

You need to invite them to a disciplinary hearing, giving them advance warning so they can prepare, and an opportunity to be represented by a colleague or trade union rep.

Does your organisation not have a disciplinary process? It's a legal requirement to have in writing what your disciplinary procedure is.

pep124 Wed 24-Aug-11 11:26:36

Agreed flowery - I work in a relatively large company and have done lots of these (unfortunately).
Basically - have a chat with them and then invite them to a meeting about their performance. Make it clear that the outcome of the meeting will not be decided until the meeting itself, but that there is a chance it could result in a verbal warning (which has to be given to them in writing).
Ideally you'll have had lots of other more informal chats with them in advance so it isn't too much of a shock to them.
They are entitled to have someone accompany them to the meeting - and if they do I'd advise you have someone there too just for the record, who can keep notes.
HR always stressed to me the need to be fair; tell them the issues, let them answer back, then you can either decide in the meeting, or in the hours/days after whether to issue a formal verbal warning or not. But either way you want to acknowledge their 'defence'. HR always told me to stress that it wasn't about punishing people but instead to improve and correct behaviour so that no further discipline needed to be taken. I also had to warn people that if things didn't improve after the verbal warning the next step would be written, and I always referred them to our staff handbook for the disciplinary procedure.
Hope this helps - at only 5 weeks pregnant I know nothing about pregnancy but do still know a teeny bit about my job, so nice to be able to help others after all the advice I've had in the last week or so on this site! x

LoonyRationalist Wed 24-Aug-11 11:37:43

Flowery & pep have given you good advice which you must follow. Do you have a HR department or is it a very small company? If you have HR please call them - very often they will want to be present at these meetings & at least can give you advice & assistance. If not I would speak with your manager. HTH

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