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Thread: Verbal Warnings

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    Silver Member Christel's Avatar
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    Verbal Warnings

    A friend of mine has been issued with a verbal warning because of his "attitude"... i.e. the boss received complaints from other employees about my friend's attitude. When he (my friend) asked for examples, none could be supplied and it was put down to "many small" issues, that amounts to an overall bad vibe. The boss did say that he has no issues w.r.t. this employees work or standard of work, but feels that he should correct his attitude.... but as mentioned above, they could not give him any examples, so he is a bit confused as to "how" to correct his "bad attitude".

    Does he have any rights? He seems to think he is being set-up by co-workers that don't like him. Would this verbal warning have any merit?

    Thanks.
    always fear when Christel is near....

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    Christel do YOU think he has an attitude problem or do you think he is a person that fits in with all with no attitude, as a friend ?
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    Silver Member Christel's Avatar
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    Hi HR Solutions,
    I think he might be misunderstood by some collegues from time to time. He is at least 13-15 years older than most of the other staff members and his way of doing things might not agree to their ways. But, the fact that his work is still acceptable to the management, surely that must weigh more than other people's comments about attitude? And he also have a very dry sense of humour, maybe they don't "get" it? But as I said, this is all confusing to him as the boss could not give any concrete evidence so that he can explain his side & way of thinking...
    always fear when Christel is near....

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    I think that pretty much explains it then. He is good at his job, but does have an "attitude" problem therefore the VERBAL warning so that he can perhaps look within, change some of his ways and fit in with the rest of the crowd. It certainly does not sound as if he is being "set up" by his co-workers. Maybe they don't like his way of looking at things. The boss needs them all to get on therefore he needs to act appropriately. A lot of people think that a company must change towards them because of their "dry" sense of humour or because of "his" way of doing things, but they are wrong. They are the ones that must change for the company !

    It sounds like he has only been with the company for a short time ? He should be the one to fit in.
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    Silver Member Christel's Avatar
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    Thanks - I appreciate the feedback. He has been at the company for about 10 years. Never had any negative feedback untill now recently. I will pass it on to him, I'm sure we all need a "look into yourself" session every now and then. He needs to see this as a chance to correct possible negative behaviour and hopefully all will work out.
    always fear when Christel is near....

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    Diamond Member HR Solutions's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christel View Post
    Thanks - I appreciate the feedback. He has been at the company for about 10 years. Never had any negative feedback untill now recently. I will pass it on to him, I'm sure we all need a "look into yourself" session every now and then. He needs to see this as a chance to correct possible negative behaviour and hopefully all will work out.
    Ok so he has been there quite long, so perhaps there is a new younger generation of people now working there that he does not get on with. Or perhaps complacency has set in a bit.

    But yes it is strange that the company could not explain a bit more, especially after 10 years service.
    It does sound like something else is a factor here, which cannot really be answered without knowing what the full story is.
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    Silver Member Christel's Avatar
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    I spoke to him just now and he is still wondering why the boss would give the warning, but when he asked for specific examples the boss could not give anything concrete. He wants to know if this verbal warning has any "leg to stand on" if nothing could be shown to him to back the warning. Can he put his side of everything on an email to the boss to be place alongside with the verbal warning in his personell file?
    always fear when Christel is near....

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    Think it through...

    A warning, verbal or written is a sanction or penalty.
    Which can only be the result of a disciplinary process.
    Which is a formal process of which the employee should be given fair notice and details of "charges".

    It is somewhat absurd to expect someone to guess what it is about their attitude that's become a burr in your butt. Or is it just me?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christel View Post
    I spoke to him just now and he is still wondering why the boss would give the warning, but when he asked for specific examples the boss could not give anything concrete. He wants to know if this verbal warning has any "leg to stand on" if nothing could be shown to him to back the warning. Can he put his side of everything on an email to the boss to be place alongside with the verbal warning in his personell file?
    I cannot answer if the verbal warning has any leg to stand on as I don't have all the facts.
    But I'm sure that he can put his side on an e mail for record.
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    Silver Member Christel's Avatar
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    Clive- thanks - this is exactly what he feels... he asked for examples and none was given.
    My friend works in an office alone, the people that complained about his "attitude" works in a different office, about 10km away. The only contact he have with them is via telephone or emails. He cannot pin-point a single instance that he might have insulted anyone. Most of the time he does not even speak to them. His work is not dependent on any of them and they might from time to time aks info from him, but this is not often.
    The verbal warning was given to him without any prior notice that he should meet with the boss - nothing. He was attending a general managers meeting at the main office and was then just called in to the bosses office and presented with the verbal warning.

    HR Solutions - thanks - I think if it was me, I would like to place "my side" of things on a piece of paper for future reference. He and the boss was the only 2 people in this meeting, so there was no witnesses to verify anything.

    Just another quesion: the verbal warning is valid for 6 months. After this time period, would the boss have to review the allegations and report back to the employee to say "yes, it has improved"? How will he know if he is on the right track? Can he ask for a "re-evaluation of his attitude" in about 1 months time? Surely there must be constant feedback so that he knows he is improving, although he does not know what he is supposed to be improving on?
    always fear when Christel is near....

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