Written warnings should be given to employees privately and in person if possible, although they can be emailed or mailed as well. In such cases, however, the written warning should always be followed up with a phone conversation or a live-video chat.
- Plan a time and space to deliver the warning
Select a private location, and set aside enough uninterrupted time to review the letter and address any questions the employee may ask. If the meeting is the same day, use your judgment to decide whether to give the employee advanced notice of the meeting.
- Start with positive feedback
Tell the employee that his performance has merited several concerns but that you like how he handles some aspects of the job. Go into detail on these positive attributes, and move on to the problem areas. Be clear about what you want. The letter should contain a description of the unacceptable behavior, the expected behavior and consequences for not meeting expectations within a specified time frame.
- Address questions, and analyze how the meeting went
Answer any questions the employee has, and remain professional. After the meeting, reflect on your performance as a manager, and note any changes you might want to employ for future instances.