When writing up an employee at work, there can be a multitude of factors to consider in going about it. But most importantly, creating a company policy and process for writing someone up should be at the top of the list. “Can you write up an employee?” and “When to write them up?” are common questions. Incorporating steps such as looking at the employee’s history with the company can help guide a manager in how to effectively reprimand someone, which carries with it the advantage of actually changing behavior for the better. Unique to your organization, seeking solutions, consequences, and a record of the write-up is the most effective approach.

Policy Violations Happen. Know The Key Steps In Writing Up An Employee

HR managers overwhelmingly prefer to give positive feedback rather than critical feedback for obvious reasons. Most managers would love to highlight wins and push a team to embrace their strengths. So writing up an employee at a car dealership can offer some pitfalls that need to be avoided, especially if you’re looking to grow your team into a healthy company. Below is a guide to the best steps on how to write up an employee:

1. Decide the severity of the offense and how it should be handled productively. Often a short, private conversation can get the job done when an employee violates a company’s code of conduct. And assuming good intentions is a key part of this since retention is one of many goals in writing someone up, it is important to prioritize clarity in the violation and how the situation will proceed.

A manager has several options at their disposal on how to reprimand an employee, two of the most obvious and clear ways are to have a conversation with the employee with or without a formal written reprimand. If the latter route is chosen, then managers must be sure to get a signature that a reprimand was given. This ensures the employee understands and that they are aware of the consequences for future violations. Referencing (and having in the first place) an employee handbook can be a major asset in this step since it allows for both parties to be clear on the violation of a company’s code of conduct.

When presenting the violation, be sure to be as specific as possible on what happened and how it violates company policy. This will benefit the company in its record-keeping but also show the employee that the manager understands what happened.

2. Keep emotions out of it. There should be clear documentation on the employee’s offense and it should be clearly stated in the formal write-up for any future dispute or clarity on the employee’s history and future with the company. It’s more likely the manager will not be the party who made the complaint so letting emotions get involved will be less of a challenge compared to the employee who is being reprimanded. It also conveys to the employee that the reprimand isn’t personal, and that it’s rooted in the company’s desire for success and professionalism at all levels.

Being prepared for common reactions to a write-up may be helpful too. Getting angry, blaming others (if it’s a performance violation especially), crying, or making excuses out of defensiveness are the most common reactions to a company reprimand. Knowing that these are possible and how to address the root issue will help everyone involved. And as mentioned above, being clear on the violation can be helpful if any party gets overly passionate about the incident.

3. Offer a clear path to improvement. Solutions in response to a violation can be a massive benefit to the company since it shows the company’s desire to retain the employee and see them improve as a professional. Offer the option to check back in with any progress or future issues (most helpful with performance violations) since this shows accountability and a focus on positive behavioral changes rather than violations.

If an employee does not show any improvement over time, then next steps and consequences should be clear to the manager and the employee with documentation on progress over time. Positive change in an employee should be affirmed as well if there are no further violations from the employee.

Get Started With MOTiiV To Build A Better Company Culture Of Growth

The goal should always be growth for a company managing a team of professionals. A lot of times, an ounce of preparation will save a lot of headache later on, and knowing how to productively address negative behavior can go a long way with an employee’s experience with a company. MOTiiV offers professional consultation and guidance on challenges to managers when problems arise. Get in touch with our team today to see how MOTiiV can benefit your dealership. The goal should be growth and a culture of thriving, so let us help you and your team get there!