Specific Warning

Advance notice that a penalty will be administered if an unacceptable behavior continues or recurs. Written form may itself be construed as a penalty.

Ex.: “Here is a formal notice that I won’t put up with your waltzing in late anymore.  Next time you don’t show up on time without calling ahead and having a good reason, you will be suspended.”

“If you can’t keep up with the other pruners, I will put you on the rock moving crew.”

“If I see you harassing Jose again, I’m going to have you fired.”

Pros & Cons
Specific warnings clearly express concern about unacceptable behavior. They afford employees time to improve and prepare them for the possibility of penalties.  Warnings may antagonize or stigmatize, however, and the worker who has lost face may attempt to regain it at the expense of the supervisor.  As a kind of commitment to take further action if stipulated conditions prevail, a warning requires supervisory follow-up if credibility is to be maintained.

Work situations where this 
response is demonstrated:

Conflict Between Workers

Careless Work


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