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Disciplining an employee isn’t limited to the traditional three choices: verbal warning, written warning and firing. When you must deal with a difficult employee, you need to give yourself the flexibility of these six choices: 1. Oral Coaching. When a problem first develops, speak to the employee about the problem, briefly. Ask the employee to suggest a right course of action. Discuss this and reach a conclusion with the employee regarding the change or the action the employee will make. Get the employee to commit to this. Make a written notation in the employee’s personnel file, with the date of the verbal coaching and the commitment from the employee. Traditionally, this first step has been called the “Warning.” But oral coaching is more than just a verbal warning. In this step you want to get the employee’s full understanding of what’s been wrong and how the employee will set it right. And most important, you want to get the employee’s commitment to change.
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