Supervisors rely on an employee counseling form to guide them through a non-disciplinary counseling session with an employee engaging in undesired workplace behavior. The primary purpose of an employee counseling form template is to help managers document counseling sessions as professionally and accurately as possible to avoid potential employment problems with the employee.
What is an Employee Counseling Form?
When supervisors need a counseling form, an employee’s workplace performance has been witnessed as problematic enough to require attention from a supervisor. Pre-prepared forms streamline counseling sessions by having the specifics already outlined and ready for dialogue. Employee counseling session information is written into the form by the supervisor (manually or online) during the session. Afterward, the supervisor may or may not insert additional comments before saving the form in appropriate files. If the employee repeats the unwanted behavior described in the counseling form, the supervisor can then provide documentation that the behavior has previously been addressed and discussed with the employee.
What Should an Employee Counseling Form Include?
An employee counseling form template should include the following:
- Employee’s first and last name
- Date of the counseling session
- Issues that led to the counseling session (examples: non-compliance with safety protocols, inappropriate behavior in the workplace, absenteeism, reduction in work performance, or other problems that negatively impact the company and its employees.
- Details and dates of incidents leading to the session
- Recommendations by the supervisor for the employee to take to correct their actions that violate company protocols
- Employee comments about the incidents in question
- Possible steps the supervisor could take if the employee’s behavior does not improve
Employee Counseling Process
Identify the need for counseling
There could be a decline in job performance, behavior issues, conflicts, personal problems, or other signs that indicate the employee is struggling. The employer should recognize the issue or incident and if the employee needs counseling to address that issue.
Building a warm relationship
The employer needs to develop a warm relationship and mutual trust first to ensure the employee does not hesitate to speak about the problems s/he is facing.
Assess the problem
The employer should gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues the employee is facing. It should be focused on gathering relevant information about the issues at hand. This may involve exploring the specific behaviors or performance concerns, identifying contributing factors such as personal challenges or work-related stressors, and uncovering any patterns or trends affecting the employee’s well-being or job performance.
Conduct the session
During the session, the employer and the employee work together to explore the underlying causes of the problem, identify potential solutions, and develop an action plan. The employer may provide guidance, support, and resources to help the employee overcome challenges. Also, a safe and non-judgmental space should be created to encourage employees to share thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
After the initial counseling session, following up with the employee to monitor their progress and provide ongoing support is important.
Evaluation, termination, or referral
The counseling process may continue for a specific duration, depending on the nature of the problem and progress. At some point, the employer will evaluate the effectiveness of the counseling and determine whether it should be terminated or extended.
How to Write an Employee Counseling Form?
Our employee counseling form template can be used “as is” or augmented to accommodate different employee counseling circumstances. All you have to do to write an employee counseling form is:
- Fill in the name/title of the employee and the supervisor
- Fill in the date of the counseling session and the date the incident in question occurred
- Indicate (check box) why you are issuing this counseling session (prewritten reasons in our template include poor performance, absenteeism/tardiness, substandard work, and several other common reasons)
- Indicate actions taken (check box for verbal warning, written warning, termination, suspension without pay, other)
- Describe the incident in the next section
- Write down the name of the witness(es) to the particular incident
- Describe the action plan taken to correct the violation
- Describe possible consequences if the employee does not follow the action plan
- Write down the employee’s statement word-for-word
- Authorize the employee counseling form template with the signatures of the employee, supervisor, and witness
Employee Counseling Form Sample
Our employee counseling form template is available to download as a pdf or a Word document.