The terms “write-up,” or “reprimand,” often denote negativity—but this isn’t always true. Employee write-ups are able to be used for encouragement and motivation, they don’t always need to be used in times when an employee is not following company policies.
There are essentially two forms of employee motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation includes personal challenges, job satisfaction, and self-fulfillment while the latter is more physical (salary, bonuses, gifts, etc.). An employee write-up is more closely related to intrinsic motivation and you should highly consider using your write-ups as motivational tools, rather than a traditional reprimand.
Here are a few tips to help make your employee write-ups more valuable and motivational:
Coach/Mentor Your Employees
There are many situations when an employee doesn’t know they have done something wrong or why they are being written up. This is a great moment for you to coach your employee.
Explain to your employees exactly what the infraction was and be as transparent as possible when helping them figure out how to avoid this in the future. By assisting your employee during a write-up review, it will be perceived as more of an encouragement than a reprimand.
Remember, encouragement is not praise, it’s a push in the right direction.
Employee write-ups can be used as a tool to keep employees on track towards their goals. While someone’s work may be exemplary, the same may not be said about their time management. Instead of getting angry because someone’s work is consistently late, discuss setting goals that can help keep your employee on track.
Goal setting can also be impactful when it comes to collaboration. Some employees may not be comfortable working with others, but collaboration is necessary in the workplace. Setting goals to work closer with their colleagues can help employees ease out of their comfort zone.
While an employee write-up comes from a superior, it doesn’t always mean that an employee is at fault. For example, if your graphic designer always sends you two versions of a piece of content, but you expect three, this needs to be explained if it hasn’t before.
Communication is the key to all forms of success and can set the foundation your business needs to run smoothly. All employees must have a clear understanding of what is expected of them. If not, productivity will decrease and your teams will operate inefficiently.
Keep the Discussion Focused on the Infraction
Employee write-ups should be focused specifically on the infraction an employee is being spoken to about. It’s easy to get off topic and start reviewing other things an employee may or may not have done, but it is imperative that the conversation is specific and transparent.
Employee write-up forms are an effective tool to help overcome this challenge as they provide direction for these conversations and adequate room to take notes.
Allow Your Employee to Tell Their Side
Employee write-ups shouldn’t be a one way street if you want them to be as positive an interaction as possible. You need to allow your employees a chance to use their voice to explain what may have happened, or why something has happened. It’s always possible that a violation of policy was a misunderstanding. By allowing your employees to voice their opinion, it also gives you some insight on how you can manage specific employees in the future. Everyone is different and may receive a write-up for different things, so you must handle these situations case-by-case. No solution is one size fits all…consider downloading an employee eval form as another way to learn how to manage employees.