Business & ManagementIB

Common steps in the process of dismissal

Common steps in the process of dismissal.....Evidence must be gathered during all stages of the dismissal process. Managers must effectively communicate the message to avoid rumours....
Common steps in the process of dismissal
Evidence must be gathered during all stages of the dismissal process. Managers must effectively communicate the message to avoid rumours spreading.
  1. Verbal Warning
  2. Official written warning if misconduct is repeated
  3. Dismissal

The process of dismissal is a critical aspect of human resource management, requiring careful consideration and adherence to both ethical standards and legal requirements. This process typically involves several steps designed to address issues of employee misconduct or underperformance in a fair and systematic manner. Understanding this process is essential for IB Business & Management students as it highlights the importance of proper procedure in maintaining organizational integrity and minimizing legal risks. This comprehensive analysis explores the common steps in the process of dismissal, including verbal warnings, written warnings, and the eventual dismissal, complemented by an industry example to illustrate their practical application.

Verbal Warning

Definition: A verbal warning is an informal conversation between a manager and an employee, where the employee is made aware of a problem with their performance or behavior.

Purpose: The primary goal is to correct the issue by bringing it to the employee’s attention, allowing them the opportunity to improve.


  • The manager clearly outlines the specific issue, providing examples of the behavior or performance in question.
  • Expectations for improvement and potential consequences of failing to improve are discussed.
  • Although informal, it is advisable for the manager to document the conversation for internal records.


  • Provides immediate feedback to the employee.
  • Encourages open communication and a chance for quick resolution.


  • Lack of documentation can lead to disputes about whether the conversation occurred.
  • May not be taken as seriously by the employee due to its informal nature.

Official Written Warning

Definition: If misconduct or underperformance continues, it escalates to an official written warning, which is a formal document detailing the issues, the improvement required, and the timeframe for this improvement.

Purpose: To provide a formal record of the ongoing issues and the employer’s attempt to address them, setting clear expectations for the employee.


  • The warning includes specific examples of the misconduct or underperformance, referencing any previous verbal warnings.
  • Clearly states the expected standards of performance or behavior, improvement measures, and the deadline for achieving these improvements.
  • Outlines the potential consequences, including dismissal, if the situation does not improve.


  • Creates a formal record of the disciplinary process.
  • Clarifies the seriousness of the issue to the employee.


  • Can escalate tensions between the employee and management.
  • The process of drafting and issuing the warning can be time-consuming.


Definition: The final step in the disciplinary process, dismissal involves terminating the employee’s contract due to failure to improve performance or behavior despite previous warnings.

Purpose: To remove an employee who consistently fails to meet the required standards of performance or behavior, after giving them fair opportunities to improve.


  • Conducted in accordance with legal requirements and company policies to ensure fairness and minimize legal risk.
  • The employee is provided with a clear explanation of the reasons for dismissal, referencing previous warnings.
  • Documentation of the entire process, including verbal and written warnings, is essential to support the decision.


  • Removes an underperforming or problematic employee, potentially improving team dynamics and performance.
  • Demonstrates to other employees that performance and behavioral standards are taken seriously.


  • Legal risks if the process is not conducted properly.
  • Potential negative impact on morale and employer brand reputation.

Industry Example: The Retail Sector

In a retail company, an employee consistently arrives late and fails to meet their sales targets despite multiple team meetings addressing punctuality and performance. The manager issues a verbal warning, followed by a written warning outlining the specific issues and the need for immediate improvement. Despite these interventions, the employee’s behavior does not change, leading to their dismissal. Throughout this process, the company carefully documents each step, ensuring that the employee is given fair notice and an opportunity to improve, thereby minimizing the risk of legal repercussions and maintaining a fair workplace environment.


The process of dismissal, encompassing verbal warnings, written warnings, and ultimately dismissal, is designed to address employee issues fairly and systematically. This structured approach ensures that employees are given opportunities to correct their behavior or performance, with dismissal as a last resort. For IB Business & Management students, understanding this process is crucial for effective human resource management, emphasizing the importance of clear communication, documentation, and adherence to legal and ethical standards.


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