Corrective Action Plan

Documentation: Employee Discipline; Progressive Discipline

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Documenting Employee Discipline and Corrective Action

There are two types of corrective action in my book: verbal and formal...

By Darin Hanks


Verbal corrective action is a conversation between a supervisor and a direct report warning that sustained improvement in the area of job performance or personal conduct must be demonstrated in order to prevent formal corrective action or termination of employment.

Even though this type of counseling is called a verbal and the employee is not asked to sign any documents related to the corrective discussion, the counseling should be documented.  Supervisors should make note of the reason for the verbal, the date, time, and location of the verbal, as well as the employee reaction to the counseling.  This information should be given to the HR Manager to be placed in the employee's personnel file.

It may surprise you that we said to put record of a verbal in the employee's file.  It is common to request that such discussions be noted in a daily planner or PDA, but in practice, when compiling supporting information for formal corrective documents, or simply determining a course of disciplinary action, it is impractical to contact all supervisors that may have such information noted and then find a way of collecting it. Therefore, we advise you make it mandatory for all verbals be filed.  (We include a template for documenting verbals with our Progressive Discipline templates).

Formal corrective action is a plan of action prescribed by an HR Manager or a disciplinary review group, fully documented on paper, formally presented to the "offending" employee for acknowledgement by signature, and placed in the employee's personnel file. (Our Progressive Discipline templates offer example plans of action and language for formal corrective action documents)

For additional training, consider renting a training video on Employee Discipline from Employee University.


Corrective / Disciplinary Templates 

HRIT offers templates you can use as suggested above.

Price:  $29.99

  View a Sample

Includes Four (4) progressive discipline templates with two sample corrective reviews (One for job performance and one for absenteeism).

  • One template used for documenting verbals.

  • One template used for formal corrective action: re: job performance

  • One template used for formal corrective action: re: absenteeism

  • One template used for recommending that an employee be terminated.

  • Two sample corrective reviews for style and phrase examples.

See a list of all available HR Forms





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