Ideally, when an employee is not performing up to the expectations, he is called for a discussion or meeting. Therein, the reason for such behaviour is talked about. It is certainly the right thing to do as the counselling and coaching are the first steps to addressing a poor performer. It is anyway very important to know if there is some personal problem or professional.
In this blog, we are clearly not talking about the same. We will talk about the next step. Sometimes, when the employee doesn’t improve his performance after the discussion, you need to warn them. Now, giving a verbal warning isn’t as simple as it seems to be. As a manager or HR, you need to prepare yourself well off in advance to issue the verbal warning. You have to make it impactful and yet not very rude so that your work is done and things don’t go up to a written warning or termination of the employee.
So, let us begin.
As long as the warning is entirely formal and no documentation to support the instance is there, you will have no proof at all of the same. So, in order to keep a record of the issue of the warning, you should document as to what is being said and expected now out of the poorly performing employee. The document must be signed by the employee. This would not just help you in proving the instance at the time of taking any future action but also help you in increasing the chances of improving the performance of the employee.
The documents can be kept safely by you alongwith the other documents or a soft copy of it can be kept by you in the performance appraisal software.
When you are giving a verbal warning to an employee for poor performance, he is sure to retaliate. So, you need to have figures and occurrences to support the same. If you will not have these, you would not be able to support your warning. The best thing you can do at this time is to look at the KRAs and KPIs of the employee in the performance appraisal software. Try to be blunt and still not sound rude while giving the warning.
Sometimes, the reason may not be the work quality but not completing the work hours diligently or taking too long breaks. So, for the same performance appraisal software may not work. You would need to fetch data from the attendance management software. The employee can also be interacting in a negative manner with the colleagues which is impacting your work culture.
What to do after verbal warning?
There must be a policy related to disciplinary actions mentioned in the HR software you use. You can take the reference and come up with an action plan if you see no improvement in performance.
If the employee is behaving so inappropriately that you cannot keep on issuing a series of verbal and written warnings then you should discuss the scenario and terminate the employee as well. Otherwise, he can go on to impact the morale of other employees too!