In an ideal world, people would go to work every day, perform flawlessly, and have no noteworthy issues. However, in reality, sometimes untoward things occur. Employees make mistakes, behave badly, break the rules, or have performance issues, which must be dealt with professionally. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to record and address problems when they happen. An employee write-up form helps you document the issue that happened and determine the correct course of action. Read on, and we will walk you through everything you need to know to use our Employee Write Up Form Template to create a helpful form for when these incidents occur.
What is an Employee Write Up Form?
Employers use an employee write up form to document and address instances of employee misconduct, performance issues, or violations of company policies. This document is a formal written record of the incident, capturing relevant details and outlining any corrective actions or consequences. Using this form allows employers to maintain consistent documentation of employee behavior, track and record disciplinary actions, and ensure clear communication regarding expectations and consequences between the employer and employee.
Why is an Employee Write Up Form Important?
An employee write up form is important because it is part of a fair and reasonable system to help employees correct problematic behaviors, practices, or incidents. It helps HR, managers, employers, and workers find solutions. Here are the primary reasons you should always use this document when there is an incident that did not result in termination:
- Documentation: The employee write up form provides a written record of employee misconduct or performance issues.
- Consistency: Using a standard form provides consistency in documenting and equality in addressing employee issues.
- Clear Communication: This document facilitates clear communication between the employer and employee regarding expectations, consequences, and any necessary corrective actions.
- Legal Protection: The write-up form documents the employer’s efforts to address employee issues.
- Performance Improvement: By outlining a corrective action plan, the form helps guide employees toward improved performance and behavior. It gives them a chance to rectify their actions.
Essential Elements of an Employee Write Up Form
The essential elements of an employee write up form are present to formally and consistently address workplace problems that spring from the actions, inaction, choices, and behaviors of employees. Having a properly composed, high-quality template makes it easier to create a balanced and through document. Below we’ve created a reference list to show what each part of this document is and how it is used.
- Form Title: State the form’s purpose, such as “Employee Write Up Form” or “Disciplinary Action Form,” at the top to prevent confusion or miscommunication.
- Employee Information Table: A table to record relevant employee details, like their name, job title, department, and employee ID or number
- Incident Information Table: A table for the date of the incident, the date of the report, and the location of the incident
- Type of Violation Table: A table with checkboxes for different types of violations, such as tardiness, violation of company policy, insubordination, absence without notice, safety violation, poor performance, harassment, misuse of company property, or other violations meant to indicate the specific violation(s) applicable to the incident
- Details of Incident: A blank space to provide a detailed description of the incident, including specific behaviors, actions, or policies violated
- Previous Disciplinary Actions Table: A table to document any previous disciplinary actions taken (if applicable)
- Corrective Action Plan: Space to outline a clear and specific plan for corrective actions like training, counseling, performance improvement objectives, or other measures
- Expected Behavior: Space to state the expected behavior or performance standards moving forward, setting clear expectations for the future conduct
- Consequences of Further Violations: Indicate the specific consequences for further violations or if performance issues persist, such as additional (specified) disciplinary actions, termination, or other relevant measures
- Acknowledgment Statement: An acknowledgment statement that says the employee acknowledges receipt of the write-up and they understand its contents
- Employee Signature and Date: Space for the employee’s signature and the date
- Management Signature and Date: Space for the manager or supervisor to sign and date the write-up
- Human Resources Acceptance with Signature and Date: Space for a representative from the human resources department to sign and date the form if applicable
- Note about Record Keeping: A note states where the form will be stored and may indicate how long it will remain in the file.
A write up at work is a formal document that states there has been an issue with something you have done. This can be performance-related, behavioral, policy violations, or any other incident generally frowned upon. These write ups serve as warnings and generally include a specific expectation or additional steps to take to ensure the incident is taken seriously and the problem is resolved. In many cases, companies have a three-strikes policy wherein three warnings on your record results in termination. Generally, if you receive a write-up, it means your employer values you and does not want to fire you, but they need you to seriously address a problem if you want to continue working there.
Write up at work should always be considered serious. As a general rule, there are three levels of disciplinary action. The least serious is a simple verbal warning to stop doing something, do something different, or change some undesirable behavior. The most serious is when you immediately lose your job due to an incident. The employee write up form is in between these two options, though all three should be considered important. Write ups can even impact your future employability as they are often part of your permanent record.
Refusing to sign a write up form can result in you being fired if the company policy dictates this is the result. Unfortunately, there is no single answer to this question because employment and documentation laws and internal policies vary significantly.
The duration for which a write-up remains on an employee’s record can vary based on company policies and applicable local or federal labor and recordkeeping laws. Here is what you need to know:
Record Retention: Employers typically retain records of employee write-ups, especially those related to disciplinary actions, in the employee’s personnel file or HR database, but the length of time it stays there can vary from a few months to permanent based on company policy.
Duration of Impact: The impact of a write-up on an employee’s record may depend on the severity of the incident. Company policies and any subsequent actions or improvements in the employee’s performance or behavior also affect how long the document impacts your work life.
Progressive Discipline: Some employers follow a progressive discipline approach. This means write-ups or disciplinary actions have a limited duration and are removed from the employee’s record after a specific period of satisfactory performance or conduct.
An employee write up form is something you hope not to need, but it can have a positive impact on employee conduct when used properly. Moreover, it is vital for recordkeeping, legal protection against false claims, and other purposes. It records incidents, expectations, and action plans for improvement, holds employees accountable, and encourages performance improvement. The seriousness and consequences of a write-up can vary, and refusing to sign a write-up does not necessarily protect an employee from potential disciplinary actions up to and including termination. How long a write-up remains on an employee’s record depends on company policies and applicable laws. A high-quality, standardized employee write up form template helps businesses ensure they handle all negative incidents fairly and equally.