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Tip Tuesday: 4 Ways to Improve Employee Discipline

January 12, 2021

Effective discipline should be designed to improve an employee’s performance and/or behavior. There are a number of ways to achieve these goals, but effective discipline should always include the following:

  1. Communication – Good, two-way communication between the employee and their supervisor is essential so the employee understands exactly what behavior or performance-related activity is being discussed and what the expectations are for improvement.
  2. Documentation – Any communication with the employee should be followed up with written documentation that memorializes the conversation with the employee. The employee should receive a copy of the written document so there isn’t any misunderstandings as to what was said to the employee and how the employee responded.
  3. Coaching – Effective communication is not just about telling an employee what they did wrong, but it should also include concrete areas identified for improvement.  If there are specific, quantitative measurements that can be utilized, that can work well.
  4. Verbal and Written Warnings – When it comes to absenteeism and dependability, many companies use a series of occurrences and/or points, culminating in termination if the employee exceeds the number of occurrences or points within a certain time period.

No matter what the issue is that requires discipline, the key is having excellent communication and documentation with the employee, so supervisors and managers want to be certain they are effective oral and written communicators.