Discipline in the workplace can feel uncomfortable for both employer and employee. If not carefully dealt with, disciplinary measures can create ongoing tension and ultimately jeopardize an employee’s job and an employer’s reputation.
When organizational leaders understand the right approach to dealing with difficult performance issues, they can proceed with confidence. With communication and collaboration, proper discipline can improve morale.
It is not easy for anyone to feel criticized, especially when news of their behavior becomes public. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, organizational leaders should always verify the accuracy of the information they hear regarding employees needing discipline. They should also allow the employee in question to give his or her own version of events before making any assumptions or judgments.
All disciplinary information and subsequent actions should remain confidential. When employees feel valued and have confidence in their privacy, they can work to improve their performance without the ridicule of their coworkers. Maintaining an employee’s privacy fosters respect and trust which can greatly reduce tension and humiliation.
From the time of hire, employees should have a thorough understanding of their company’s discipline policies. Indeed suggests that companies with a clear and consistent discipline policy can encourage their employees to do the following:
- Participate as members of a team
- Engage in meaningful and effective performance
- Honor company policies
- Attain personal and organizational expectations
Discipline done the right way can encourage employees to identify the disconnect in their performance and correct it to achieve their goals. A genuine, objective and professional approach to disciplining employees can protect companies against retaliation and potential lawsuits.