Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about warnings sequence:
Do you need a verbal warning before a written warning?
Signed, What Comes First?
Dear What Comes First?:
The rule of thumb for warnings is a three-step process: oral verbal, written, and final discipline or firing. The theory is that each step is to be understood as more serious. However, some offenses are so serious, such as fighting and theft that there is immediate disciplinary action. Debating what should come first is not as important as seeing a warning as an opportunity to learn what is unacceptable in your workplace, and to see it as a time to get clear on what are the dos and don’ts.
Either written or orals warnings should be seen as a time to apologize for doing or not doing something and at least to recommit yourself to doing what you were hired to do. Does this make sense to you? If you are the one warned, have you see it as an opportunity to improve communication with your supervisor rather than as a reason to criticize her/him for giving a written before an oral warning? Most organizations have a section within their policy books that spell out the process of warning and discipline. Possibly your supervisor or Human Resources can point that out to you, if you ask. The crux of the matter is now to focus on how to make what you do to add value to your place of work. How might my signature sentence apply to you and your work group: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS?