Content of Written Warning

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about warning containing old information :

Is it appropriate for written warnings to contain dated and resolved situations? I received a written warning, containing an amalgam of supposedly disrespectful behavior towards a peer who also happens to be a part of the department’s management team. Some points are fairly minor, and would not warrant a written warning, such as giving short answers. Other points are three to six months old, and have been resolved between myself and my manager. Yet my manager proceeded to allow these complaints to be part of the written warning.

Signed, Warnings Repeated

Dear Warnings Repeated:

How warnings are worded is largely a company-specific matter. Your complaint about including echoes of past warnings in a current one seems unreasonable, unless the past so-called resolved matters are included as evidence of a pattern of inappropriate behavior. From an impartial distance, the important lesson here seems to be use this warning as a prompt to better the communication between you and your manager and not again to do what merits a warning. Rather than be soured can you talk about the way you communicate and like to be talked to? Is it worth a try? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and in your situation might that mean taking time out to make a serious effort to improve how you communicate and to consider what you might do to save face for all concerned. That’s on micro level, but also it entails thinking beyond the immediate upset to renewed commitment to doing all that is reasonable to generate a spirit of cooperation company-wide.

William Gorden