The best way to reprimand an employee is in a personal manner. Never reprimand an employee over the phone or through email. Schedule a meeting and talk to an employee in private, away from other staff members. Conducting employee reprimands in person allows the employee to explain his mistake and gives the employer an opportunity to provide guidance for future conduct.
In addition to meeting face-to-face, employee reprimands need to be equivalent to the employee's actions. Consider extenuating circumstances and the employee's past performance when deciding which type of reprimand to give. For minor infractions, a verbal reprimand or written warning is sufficient. However, major mistakes or a disregard for company policies requires more severe reprimands, such as putting an employee on probation or demoting an employee.
Creating a performance improvement plan during the employee reprimand process gives the employee an opportunity to improve performance. Performance improvement plans need to clearly outline the employee's negative behavior and state the actions the employee needs to take to rectify the situation.
It is important to retain documentation of employee reprimands to protect the business from claims of unfair job termination. The more documentation that is collected during the reprimand process, the better protected a business is in the event an employee has to be fired.