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One of the more difficult aspects of an employer's job is the challenge of disciplining insubordinate employees or those who have not done their job correctly. The most efficient way to handle an employee's misconduct is to not only speak with him but also to write up a disciplinary form, so that you have the incident in writing and you have an official document that you can submit to the employee. The report should not only include information on the incident and the actions that must be taken to remedy the employee's behavior or situation but also recommendations to the employee to avoid similar infractions in the future.
Start the form by explaining to the employee that this is a disciplinary form that serves as a warning and as an impetus for corrective action. Also, define the incident, problem, misconduct or unruly situation.
Specify concisely what the employee has done to warrant the letter and cite the section in your company policy that confirms the employee has violated protocol.
Attach important documentation to the letter that supports the breach of company rules. Describe how the problem has impacted the company.
Include steps you have taken to help the employee work through the issue and disciplinary actions you have taken on your end. Document the employee's explanation or justification for his actions or lack of response.
Express your expectations for future behavior in the letter. Indicate that further disciplinary action, including possible dismissal, will occur if the employee repeats his behavior or does not improve his conduct.
David Harris is a writer living in Portland, Ore. He currently is the editor-in-chief of the online magazine Spectrum Culture. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence College.