But sometimes the systems don't seem to work, she says. One of the flaws in most disciplinary policies is that the focus is on punishment rather than rehabilitation. West offers questions to consider when evaluating your discipline program. (West is principal of Employment Practices Specialists LLC, an employment law training and consulting firm in Pacifica, California.)
Start with some research. Do you take most disciplinary actions for infractions such as tardiness? Or are more egregious matters such as harassment, insubordination, safety, or theft the problem?
Too often discipline is doled out without finding out more about why the conduct occurred. Ask the employee why he or she is not taking the job, the discipline, or continued employment seriously.
Are you clearly communicating the severity of the situation to the employee? This is not the time to be vague or assume the employee already understands the consequences of his or her conduct.
West says she strongly opposes sending employees home without pay and firmly believes that kind of disciplinary strategy is more often than not ineffective. Why? The employer is typically adding more stress to an already stressful situation. Sending someone home so they have a harder time paying bills or supporting their family does not provide the guidance or support for someone to turn around poor behavior.
Some managers may use strict discipline immediately while others are lax and let things simmer until the poor or inappropriate conduct reaches a boiling point. Inconsistent discipline does not send a clear message.
If there is no real consequence, behavior does not change. If you don't terminate right after a violation, your discipline policy has no teeth.
Thanks to BLR