Verbal and written warning: understand the differences and know how to apply!

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Verbal and written warning: understand the differences and know how to apply!

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To prevent improper procedures within the business environment, verbal and written warning resources need to be applied, avoiding any irregularity or lack of commitment on the part of employees.

These warnings are part of the process that analyzes imprudence or lack of professionalism within organizations, in accordance with article 482 of the CLT (Consolidation of Labor Laws).

Through this system, which is made up of several rules and standards, companies provide a more organized service and avoid any damage that interferes with the productive routine or corporate well-being.

Do you want to know more about verbal and written warning? Follow the reading and see the most important points on the subject. Check out!

Concepts and differences of verbal and written warning

As the names themselves suggest, the concepts of verbal and written warning differ through the practice with which each is applied.

Verbal warning

It is presented through an individual conversation with the worker. In this meeting, the professional’s error must be categorically explained, showing him the correct way to act, in addition to offering assistance so that the failure is not repeated.

However, although the observation is applied through dialogue, everything needs to be registered and signed by the employee.

Written warning

It is the action that follows if the verbal warning has not worked. Here, the evidence needs to be concrete and clear. In addition to all pertinent information about the employee’s failure, it is also important to attach related documents, such as time sheet or witness reports.

The written warning must be recorded in two copies: one with the warned employee and the other with the company.


As stated, the difference between the two cases, basically, is in the form of application of each one. The verbal being a spoken warning and the writing a more bureaucratic action and using sound evidence.

Furthermore, for the most part, the written warning is only placed when the verbal call has had no effect. However, this sequence is not a rule, and it is possible for a professional to be reprimanded in writing directly.

Application of warnings

Verbal and written warnings must be prepared with great care and efficiency so as not to cause any moral or ethical damage on the part of the company’s management.

Upon receiving the communication, the employee needs to be aware of the faults committed, avoiding repeating the same mistake. If the employee refuses these warnings, this can be understood as a lack of commitment to the company, in addition to causing dismissals due to lack of work ethics.

In order to write these communiqués, there are some points that are essential. Check it out below.

Avoid aggression

If the employee’s conduct is not in accordance with the company’s rules and requirements, it is necessary to apply a warning for this loss to be ascertained.

However, out of respect for the environment and the employees, the employer must always evaluate the best way to communicate with his workers, without any embarrassing situation occurring due to an exaggeration.

Therefore, the calls made will have a more positive and harmonious impact within the corporate scope. The fundamental role of warnings is to make the employee obtain a self-assessment of his performance and behavior.

Apply the warning at the right time

It is necessary to apply the warning when the employee is committing an irregularity. It is worth remembering that these calls should not be checked long after the error.

When the professional causes any damage, draw up a warning that punctually clarifies all the errors and damages that worker has committed in the production environment.

If you leave this procedure for later, the employee can reproduce the same slip, which can create a bigger problem in the company.

Apply only one fault

As stated earlier, be on the lookout for exaggerations. For each error, apply only one fault. Avoid bringing arguments and discussions that may be unnecessary for a given situation.

In addition, if the employee reverses the error and manages to do his job without harming the production environment, encourage him and clarify ways to improve his performance.

The role of the worker in the face of warnings

The role of the worker in the face of warnings is essential. One of the most important points is the acceptance of these communications, taking into account the search for better performance in the production environment.

Under the law, the employee is not required to sign a warning of any kind, however, the employer can request that two witnesses sign it confirming that the worker has committed and is aware of the flaw in the document.

To avoid receiving any kind of reprimand, it is necessary to know which situations are subject to punishment. Follow some of them below.

Breach of company secrecy

An ethical deviation that needs attention is the breach or leak of confidential company data and information by the employee.

With the widespread use of the Internet and social networks, there is a risk that some information that should not be revealed ends up being exposed by a worker.

It is worth remembering that this rule is not just attributed to the Internet: it applies in any situation in which sensitive data and documents are violated and propagated.

Abandonment of employment

The lack of commitment to the company, due to the absence of any service, can harm the performance of work, in addition to bringing financial losses.

For these cases, it is appropriate to apply a warning that is consistent and shows what losses that attitude taken by the employee can bring to his team and the organization as a whole.


It is necessary that every employee behaves well and knows how to communicate professionally with his co-workers. Lack of respect and empathy for others must be countered with warnings.

Criminal conviction

In cases of theft or criminal act, in addition to identifying who was the perpetrator of the action, it is also necessary to draw up a warning that clarifies the actions taken by the employee who committed the act.

In addition, the warnings directed at these cases are valid for the governmental laws that govern the guidelines of the labor laws.


Employees who are in the habit of consuming alcohol and drugs at the office should be warned. In these cases, due to drunkenness, these employees are making mistakes that can interfere in a harmonious environment, in addition to bringing embarrassing situations capable of harming the service of other workers.

To avoid any such situation, the company can issue a warning and show the consequences of that attitude to the employee.

In short, verbal and written warnings play a fundamental role in the organization of the work environment, in addition to maintaining more efficient judicial regulation under labor laws. Always pay attention to the way of writing these communications. After all, any lack of commitment and care for your employees can result in losses in the day-to-day of the company.

Did you find this article interesting? How about checking out our text on the risks of absenteeism and how to reduce its impacts?



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