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Disciplinary Actions – Verbal, Written & Probationary Forms – English & Spanish



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Have you ever observed an extremely naughty child in public? If you are like me you have probably thought to yourself, why would the child behave any differently? They certainly aren’t suffering any consequences from their actions. Managing your employees is exactly the same. Do not allow your employees to choose the consequences of their actions because you aren’t choosing any for them. Do not set any policies or procedures if you do not intend to enforce each and every one of them. Timely discussions and/or disciplinary action can save a really good employee. You owe timely consequences to your employees. The key factor is to administer the proper disciplinary action the same day, when possible, but no more than two days from the date of the infraction. If there are no consequences, or occasional consequences, not only do you leave yourself open for a discrimination case but you lose all influence with your employees. They will begin to choose their own actions and consequences. At this point you have lost total control.


One of the best ways to send a signal to cleaners that infractions will not be tolerated is to use a system of verbal, written and probationary notices. Develop a written and probationary form.


Any employee who demonstrates continual poor performance, poor behavior, violates a policy or demonstrates inappropriate workplace conduct should be given a verbal warning. This should be behind closed doors and documented in the employee’s file. There should be an agreed upon correction plan and some closer dates with expectations attached with the verbal warning and documented in the employee’s file as well. If expectations are not met then the employee should receive a written warning which will be signed by both the employee and the owner/manager stating specific problem areas, documentation of infractions and expected performance improvement with dates. If these expectations are not met the same will happen on a probationary notice. If there is still no improvement the employee will be terminated. Follow this process for all infractions; attendance, punctuality, quality of work, excessive breakage and damage, etc. If you faithfully follow this process with every infraction and document everything you will never lose an unemployment case, probably will never lose a law suit, and your employee turnover rate will drop because you will come across to your employees as an organization with clear expectations both verbally and by way of your actions.

An added bonus to using a timely system of disciplinary action is one verbal warning generally fixes the problem. The employee really did not understand how important ‘it’ was. Perhaps they didn’t, perhaps they did, who knows? What is clear to the employee now is that it is extremely important. Most employees will fix the problem.

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