Be consistent in your write-ups. Employee write-up forms only mean something if you use them the same way every time. Make sure your company has a clearly defined policy for when it’s necessary to use an employee write-up form and use it every time those instances come up.

What is an employee write-up form

An employee write-up form is a specific document used to either discipline an employee or to note some sort of workplace violation. You use employee write-up forms to keep track of major breaks from work policies and standards.

Employee write-up forms are useful because they help human resource professionals keep track of patterns of poor behavior and they help give insight into the less-than-positive character traits of the company’s employees.

If your company decides that it needs to start implementing employee write-up forms, it should agree on a specific template to use and create policies and procedures around its use. Employee write-up forms should be used in specific circumstances and shouldn’t be used as a vindictive tool.

What should your employee write-up include

Your employee write-up forms should include a variety of things.

Make sure each employee write-up form includes:

  • The employee’s name or ID Number
  • The employee’s position
  • A specific recounting of the offense committed
  • The type of warning or discipline enacted
  • A plan for improvement
  • Any and all managers or decision-makers who should be aware of the situation
  • A way of finding other related employee write-up forms
  • Possible consequences for another violation
  • A direct manager’s date and signature


All of this information is important for different reasons. It’s important that your employee write-up forms help HR remember what specifically went wrong. It’s also good to know how the company plans on righting those wrongs and who is responsible for making sure that happens.

It’s also important that you can create an easy-to-follow paper trail so you can see whether a specific employee keeps having the same problems, different problems, or has improved.

There are tons of free employee write-up form templates online. You could use one of those or you could create your own. You should do whatever your HR department decides would be the best fit for your company.

Best practices for filing out an employee write-up

If you’re going to implement an employee write-up form in your company, it’s worth following some basic rules.

Be as specific as possible

When you’re recording an incident, be as specific as possible. If the employee is frequently late, write down the days they’re late and the times they came into work. If they’re making inappropriate comments, record what those comments were and who they were said to. The point is to leave out any and all ambiguity so others will know exactly what happened.

Write clearly and factually

Remember, an employee write-up form is a report, not a novel. Avoid flowery language and get to the point. Stick to Subject + Verb + predicate form. Use proper names wherever possible to avoid pronoun confusion. Make sure that someone who wasn’t there could understand your report.

Explain what will happen now

A major reason why employee write-up forms are so important is that they should be the stepping stone for righting wrongs. If an employee is in the wrong, a report should clearly outline what that employee needs to do to fix the situation. It should outline everyone’s responsibilities as far as correcting behavior and actions are concerned. This way, you can revisit the report and see if the employee has made progress and improved or not.

Try not to emote in the employee write-up form

As a coworker, you should really be more concerned about actions than characteristics. It doesn’t really matter how lazy someone is at home, so long as they work hard while at work. To that end, try to avoid describing who the employee is and focus on what they do. Talk about the tasks they’re skipping rather than their lack of work ethic. This will help you look at the issue more objectively.

Be consistent in your write-ups. 

Employee write-up forms only mean something if you use them the same way every time. Make sure your company has a clearly defined policy for when it’s necessary to use an employee write-up form and use it every time those instances come up.

Ask those involved to sign the employee write-up

Part of the process includes recognition and accountability from all involved parties. For example, an employee’s manager should be aware of problems as they appear, but they should also be made aware of what needs to happen to consider the issue fixed. Getting them to review and sign the employee write-up form is a great way to get them on board.


eFileCabinet can help you keep your employee write-uo forms in order

Whether you’ve been using employee write-up forms for years or you’re just starting to use them, you’ll need to store and organize them somehow.

eFileCabinet can help with that.

Not only can eFileCabinet store all of your documents without using any paper, but it can also automatically request manager signatures thanks to its automated workflows. It can also destroy documents after they have expired. Additionally, eFileCabinet’s auto-permissions will help make sure that nobody has access to these employee write-up forms aside from those who should.

If you’re looking to get your office organized, try eFileCabinet.

Schedule your free demo today!