Disciplinary Action & Creating Positive Consequences
Unfortunately in every business there comes a time you have to discipline an employee or a group of employees for some action that was against company policy as stated in a Policy and Procedures or Employee Manual. No matter the size of your business you should have one.
So what is the 1st step? An essential employer action in this situation is to write them up. Many small businesses fail to do this step but it’s vitally important. Have the appropriate discussion with the employee, then write them up describing the infraction, the disciplinary action being taken, with consequences of future actions clearly defined. Have the employee sign, date it, and then keep a copy in their employee file. If possible, it is always best to have a witness during these discussions.
It is important you have written, signed, and dated records of these disciplinary actions if in the future you have to let an employee go and then face unemployment, legal, or labor board actions.
When discipline is required, a positive consequence for both the employee and your business is to assign them a class that addresses the issues that they may be dealing with on the job or at home as they may be related.
Here a just few examples of what is available:
- Anger Management: 10 Hr. Course $24.95
- Civility in The Work Place 10 Hr. Course $24.95
- How to Create a Positive Work Place Environment: 6 Hr. Course $24.95
Who pays for the class? Experience in these situations suggests they do. They can sign-up for individual training and pay for it. It’s the consequence of their action. A positive action for the employer is to reimburse them when they have provided you the Certificate of Completion within a certain amount of days (5-10) and after a certain period of time passes (1-6 months) with no other infractions. Consider it an investment in that employee.
Recap: Have the appropriate discussion with a witness, document the event, assign the appropriate class. You have now shifted the burden of the incident off your shoulders onto theirs with the class they will pay for and attend on their own time. Once they have completed the course, a Certificate of Completion is provided and this shows action on their part to doing a job better and becoming a better employee. It shows you are serious but fair and you care. It’s Win-Win.