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NEVER ignore any infringements of your rules! Here are four reasons why

by , 16 August 2015
Discipline in the workplace is vital to maintaining an orderly and productive environment. Showing swift, yet fair, action makes discipline effective. But ignoring or 'turning a blind eye' can have destructive consequences to you and your company. Here are four reasons why you should never ignore any infringements of your rules...

1. Your employees will think unacceptable behaviour is okay

If you ignore any infringements of your rules, your employees will begin to assume that their infringements are acceptable. This will form a destructive attitude that neglects the behavioural expectations in the workplace. This can then affect effectiveness in the workplace, leading to disorder and an overall loss in productivity. Also, it will be much harder to enforce discipline after you have let it 'slide' for a while. 

2. Your employees will become uncertain and may assume you are victimising certain people

If you ignore some acts of misconduct and discipline others, you run the risk of your employees accusing you of victimisation and discrimination. It will also create confusion amongst your employees as to the actual seriousness and validity of the rules.


Everything you need to know about substantively and procedurally fair disciplinary hearings
So… Your employee's guilty of misconduct. Let's say he took a company laptop home, without asking permission. It's a simple open and closed case of theft, isn't it?
Not so fast! You can't just say 'that's it, you're out of here' and think that's the end of that. No, you still have to hold a disciplinary hearing. You still have to give him a chance to defend his case, and explain why he did that.
You also have to prove that he did this. You have to spell it out for him and notify him you're going to discipline him. And you have to give him time to prepare his case.
And then there's even more to it… You have to have a disciplinary hearing so you can prove your case, and give him a chance to defend his… And this is where most employers fail.

3. You could literally 'lose it'! 

Ignoring one or two infringements can easily lead to you ignoring more and more. As time goes by, a general lack of order with regard to
your original expectations can annoy you to the point that you snap. This can result in you verbally abusing your employees or possibly assaulting them out of frustration. Don't make this mistake ever! The last thing you want is a charge of assault laid against you.

4. You could take the blame for your ignorance

If you are a manager and you fail to ensure that your employees' behaviour falls within the rules, then you yourself can be disciplined as you will have failed to fulfil your duties. 
So there you have it! There are four simple points to keep in mind when you ever consider ignoring an infringement of the rules. Just remember to maintain consistent discipline that is fair and well investigated.

But that's not all! Click here to find out so much more about disciplinary issues as well many other labour law issues.

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