It's undeniable! Discipline in the workplace is vital to order and stability, not to mention overall productivity.
But while that may be the case, it's important to keep in mind that if you don't manage your disciplinary system effectively, you could face some major headaches.
So in helping you to manage a truly effective disciplinary system in your workplace, here are the 4 main issues you should look out for, along with the one major tip on how to prevent each of them...
Issue#1: Your employees seem to now think that certain rules no longer apply to them as much as they used to
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.
But not you! Here's why…
You notice this in their behaviour in the workplace. As time goes by, you witness a gradual 'slacking off' towards some of your disciplinary rules.
Issue#2: An increase in victimisation accusations
You notice that many employees are claiming victimisation and discrimination if they are disciplined for breaking a rule of yours.
Issue#3: General confusion
Your employees appear to be increasingly confused as to what your rules actually are.
Issue#4: An increase in managers 'losing it'
Managers are beginning to lose their cool with their workers. They claim it's due to a lack of order.
What can all of this possibly mean?
These issues may appear, at first glance, to be a complete mystery. After all, what could possibly be the cause of all this, right?
Trust me, there is a very obvious cause to these issues. And it can very easily be sitting right under your nose!
I'm talking about consistency
, specifically with regard the application of your disciplinary system.
You see, if you don't apply your disciplinary system consistently, your employees may start thinking that certain rules no longer to them (issue#1).
They may claim victimisation (Issue#2) because you have disciplined one employee for an offence but not another for the same offence.
As you lose consistency in applying your disciplinary system in the workplace, you may very well create confusion (Issue#3) among your employees as to what the rules really are. They may feel that it's like a minefield in which if one employee breaks a rule, he may or may not be punished.
And finally, managers may become increasingly impatient as this lack of order and confusion creeps its way into your workplace.
What can you do to prevent these issues from ever happening?
The answer is simple: You must apply your disciplinary system consistently in the workplace.
If an employee breaks one of your rules, don't ignore it. Because all this will do is kick start all of the above-mentioned issues.
*Now that you're aware of this, it's important for you to know how to correctly discipline your employees, should you need to do so.
So page over to Chapter D 25: Disciplining employees: Step-by-step guide,
in your Labour Law for Managers
handbook, and get started as soon as possible.
If you don't already have it, click here.