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Coaching Cue Cards are designed to help jumpstart conversations that you may need to have with your employees. Modify as needed based on your situation.
Hi _____________ , thanks for speaking with me. I want to talk with you about some behavior that has me somewhat concerned.
I understand you would never intentionally want to make another employee uncomfortable. However, as a manager, I have to make sure we are protected even if your intentions are innocent.
I saw (or heard) that you (describe behavior here). With regards to this type of behavior/these comments, we must have a zero-tolerance policy, regardless of how understanding I may be personally. I hope you understand why, in an office environment, we have to stress this. We don’t want a lifeless workplace, but please keep this discussion in mind and try to reign in any behavior that may be misinterpreted or misconstrued, even if you think it is harmless and innocent.
Note: Don’t insinuate any nefarious intentions on the employee’s part. Give them opportunity to express that they understand how actions or behaviors can be misconstrued, and emphasize that you only want to make sure they know this before someone (or someone else) does complain. After having this discussion, however, you must follow through on having a zero-tolerance policy, as depending on your state laws, you may be more liable now that you have demonstrated an awareness of the employee’s problem.