Coaching managers about the Employee Discipline process is a big part of our practice as Human Resources leaders. Managers, in general, are uncomfortable with the process, and our jobs as HR Leaders is to make them more comfortable with the process, and, in turn, make them better managers. Managers willing to confront and correct employee behavior, generally have better operations.
Having a disciplined workplace where employees hold themselves accountable for their performance can be developed through a combination of managers recognizing desired performance and affirmatively confronting poor performance. I believe that getting managers “over the hump” regarding their reluctance to discipline employees comes down to the “why.” Why do we discipline employees when they don’t perform?
The answer to that question is critical for managers. We discipline employees because we care about them as individuals. We want them to get better. We want them to change their behavior in order for them to become productive members of the team. We don’t discipline employees to punish them. There have been books written about this concept. The one that comes to mind for me is Discipline Without Punishment by Dick Grote.
Getting managers to understand this concept is a challenge for us as HR leaders. However, our success in guiding our managers toward that understanding is critical for workplace success. We need to communicate the “why” behind employee discipline. The better we can do that, the better we will be serving the development needs of our managers and employees.
Ken Meyer, SHRM-SCP, SPHR
Principal, KWM HR Consulting LLC
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