Top 7 Strategies To Use When Disciplining An Employee
By Robert Hoffman
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Everyone wants great employees.
Unfortunately not all employees are great. With some there comes a time when they need to be dealt with effectively to correct inappropriate behavior. If you manage or are going to manage a uinion work force these simple steps may save you alot of headache and maybe even avoid a costly lawsuit for wrongful termination.
- Be consistent.
When dealing with your workforcehold them all to the same level of accountability. If your company has a Code of Business Conduct or any type of specific workrules, make sure your employees understand it and cover it at least once a year.
- Keep accurate records.
Any time you speak to an employee about an infraction of work rules make a note of it sign and date it and put it in their personnel folder.Keeping a paper trail will be the key if that employee is ever terminated and the case goes to arbitration.
- Be timely.
When you have a problem, take action immediately and prevent it from getting worse. It is sometimes a good idea to cover rules when you have an infraction. Always make sure you ask the employee, "Do you understand?". The longer you let inappropriate behavior or violations go, the worst it will get.
- Always conduct an investigation.
Prepare a list of questions to help you get to the truth. Interview customers, other employees or suppliers to find out all you can. You could find out there was a legitimate reaso9n behind the action. It has happened to me conducting investigations more than once.
- Stick with the facts.
You may have someone who you just can't convince to do the right thing when iot comes to the business. Stay with what you now is accurate and true to build a solid case.
- Be progressive.
Progressive discipline is the key to a successful case in arbitration. Start out with a verbal warning and write it down in the employees file. Next sit the person down with their union delegate or shop steward (if applicable) discuss the action and the corrective measures to be taken. Hand them both a copy of the dicussion as well. After the meeting place it in the employees file. If it continues, letter of reprimand, a more harsh written discussion. If the problem continues, a suspension may be in order. People tend to look at a situation differently when you take money out of their pocket. In some environments you may need 3 or 4 suspensions on the books before you can terminate an employee.This is where you should consult your human resources department.
- Test your documentation against the seven tests of just cause.
This is a simple test of several items an arbitrator will look at to make the ultimate decision of whether your case will stand up and be withheld or overturned and the employee back on the payroll.
Copyright Robert Hoffman 2006
Article Submitted On: September 11, 2006