I'm trying to construct a phrase that has the meaning of informing someone they are deficient and hereby directed to correct the deficiency. They type of thing a supervisor would say to a chronic screw-up after a particularly significant mistake. Not a dismissal or reprimand, but a declaration of intent toward such, or worse, without immediate correction.

I've zeroed in on "I'm putting you on ______" or "Consider yourself on ______" as phrases I've heard used for this situation, but can't decide if 'notice' is what belongs there as it has an awkward feel to me. I've considered reworking the structure to "I'm giving you notice..." which gets roughly the same message across while feeling a bit less awkward, but I keep returning to the initial structure as the base of what I'm looking for.

Is "I'm putting you on notice"/"Consider yourself on notice" the common phrase for expressing this situation or is it some other very close variant that I'm grasping at and just missing?

  • Being "put on notice" is still an idiomatic phrase for being given warning of possible future dismissal or reprimand. It is perhaps a bit rude and rough, but generally there is no point in trying to be overly polite in such a situation. "Giving notice" is often used in the somewhat opposite sense of the employee notifying the employer that he will quit/resign at some future (usually specified) time, and might be confusing if used in your sense. – Hot Licks Oct 15 '15 at 11:08
  • I can't fault this question from a purely ELU point of view, but it seems you may have a bigger issue than just word choice. Do you have a system of goal setting and evaluation with your employees? Can you specify to this employee what goal he is (in danger of) not meeting? Do you have an HR department that can assist you? If not, time to head over to WorkplaceSE. – cobaltduck Oct 15 '15 at 14:49

"Warning" is broadly used by Human Resources Dept. or supervisors when they want to give a statement that:

tells a person that bad or wrong behavior will be punished if it happens again.


"Notice" is quite different from warning as defined in Wiktionary:

(chiefly uncountable) Advance notification of termination of employment, given by an employer to an employee or vice versa.

I gave her her mandatory two weeks' notice and sacked her. I can't work here any longer. I'm giving notice.

"I am giving you a warning that unless you ..., you will ..." will be more appropriate way to fit into the context.

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  • I've certainly heard (in Britain) "put on notice" used in the sense the questioner asks about, i.e. meaning that you are warned to change your behaviour, and not in the sense of giving a date for termination. – DJClayworth Oct 15 '15 at 16:23
  • @DJClayworth Then, you can post your answer. I am not saying I am absolutely right. Please go ahead. – user140086 Oct 15 '15 at 16:26

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