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Documenting Disciplinary Issues

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Presentation on theme: "Documenting Disciplinary Issues"— Presentation transcript:

1 Documenting Disciplinary Issues

2 Introduction This sample presentation is intended for presentation to supervisors and other individuals who manage employees. It is designed to be presented by an individual who is knowledgeable in both performance management and the employer’s own discipline policy and practices. The purpose of this presentation is to provide supervisors with the principles of effective employee discipline and how to document management actions in an appropriate manner. Included in this presentation are examples. This is a sample presentation that must be customized to include and match the employer’s own policies and practices.

3 Introduction (cont’d)
Documentation of employee performance and/or conduct issues is very important to both management and to employees. Effective documentation can help employees take corrective action and ward off potential law suites especially if an organization has a progressive discipline policy

4 Objectives At the close of this session, you will be able to:
Identify the principles surrounding effective discipline. Determine when and how to discipline employees. Identify your organization’s discipline policies and practices. Use the five principles of effective discipline to develop appropriate documentation of disciplinary concerns.

5 Principles Surrounding Discipline
Corrective Fair Consistent Progressive Due Process

6 Progressive Discipline Steps
Oral Warning Written Reprimand Suspension Disciplinary Demotion* Termination *check your organizational policies to verify this step is included in your progressive discipline process.

7 Discipline Employees When…
There are recurring issues such as absenteeism or tardiness. There are continuing problems adhering to or following management instructions despite additional training, coaching or counseling. As close to the infraction as possible but not in the heat of the moment.

8 Do… Investigate each incident regardless of how it first appears.
Select an appropriate time & place to meet privately with the employee. Document! Allow the employee to explain his/her understanding of the incident. LISTEN. Confer with HR for their recommendations on how to proceed. Present the disciplinary action in a calm manner.

9 Don’t … Yell, scream or curse. Base disciplinary actions on rumors.
Discuss an employee’s performance or conduct issues with the employee’s co-workers.

10 Don’t Discipline… Employees in public places.
Employees in the presence of others. Employees in the heat of the moment.

11 Before Disciplining Consider…
The facts surrounding the incident. The seriousness of the infraction. Whether the employee was informed of the work rules in advance of the infraction. Whether the employee was previously advised, coached or warned about the issue.

12 Also consider… The degree to which the employee’s conduct hampers the organization’s mission or day-to-day operation. Documentation of previous conduct or performance problems within the past 3-6 months or less.

13 Other things to consider…
Was the employee provoked? How thoroughly have I examined the issue or infraction? How have other employees who were in similar situations disciplined?

14 Did I…? Document the conduct or performance issue with just the facts?
Share this documentation with the employee? Outline discipline appropriate to the infraction?

15 The Goal of Documentation
To inform the employee. To establish an official record of the disciplinary action.

16 The 5 W’s of Documentation
Who What Where When Why

17 Who? Was/is involved? Has first hand knowledge?
And their position within the organization. Has first hand knowledge? Are there known or potential witnesses?

18 What?... Describe the incident or recurring issue.
Describe the specific behavior or actions. Use verbs. Do not add your comments, insights or interpretations.

19 Where? Describe the location of the incident
Was it on the workplace or workplace property? Was it on the client’s/customer’s workplace or workplace property?

20 When? Did the incident occur during Regular work hours?
“Off-duty” time?

21 Why? Don’t guess or speculate. Investigate and gather information.
Include knowledge or information to support your findings/conclusions. Allow employees to present their version of events/infraction.

22 The Document… Date at the top of the letter/memo.
A statement that a copy will be placed in the employee’s personnel file only if your personnel policies call for this. The employee’s full and nick names.

23 Start With… An opening statement about the purpose of the documentation. Proceed with statements describing and defining the infraction and supporting information. Be sure to include dates. DO NOT INCLUDE THE NAMES OF WITNESSES OR COMPLAINING PARTIES.

24 Continue by… Stating and describing the disciplinary action you are recommending. Stating and describing reasons why you are recommending the disciplinary action. Reference your organizational personnel policies, handbook, or code of conduct.

25 Don’t Forget… To include a statement about the employee’s rights to…
Share their version of events and place a copy in their personnel file if they choose. Dispute the proposed discipline by filing a grievance or request for alternative dispute resolution.** ** check your organization policy and include only if your policy allows

26 What Else to Include… State the facts and provide details of the infraction in language that the employee understands while referencing the specific sections of the organization’s policy, procedure, handbook or code of conduct. State the circumstances so a “reasonable person” would conclude that the disciplinary action being recommended or taken is appropriate. Descriptions of previous and/or related infractions and disciplinary action which occurred within the past 3-6 months.

27 Conclude by… Reminding the employee that another incident may result in additional discipline. Reminding the employee that correcting their behavior is expected and that correction needs to be sustained over time. Including a statement that the employee has a right to present the employee’s version of events to you within a certain time frame.

28 An Example….. Date Dear Employee:
The purpose of this letter/memo is to inform you of my recommendation to….

29 Second Paragraph “The reasons for my recommendations are based on…..”
(insert a statement describing the infraction and reference the specific organization policy, procedure or code of conduct violation)

30 Third Paragraph Describe previous or related infractions and disciplinary action which occurred within the past 3-6 months.

31 Fourth Paragraph Insert a statement with a reminder to the employee that another similar or related incident may result in further or additional disciplinary action.

32 Fifth Paragraph Should outline due process and a statement that the employee has the right to: Present the employee’s version of the events to management within a specific time frame as outlined in your organizational personnel policy/handbook.

33 Fifth Paragraph - Example
“Within three business days after the receipt of this letter, please schedule a meeting with me to discuss this issue or reply in writing. I will consider the information you provide me at that time before I forward my recommendation to HR.”

34 Summary Supervisors/managers should ensure that they have applied the five principles of effective discipline (corrective, fair, consistent, progressive and due process), before disciplining employees. Use the five W’s of documentation (who, what, where, when and why) and the five principles of discipline to document performance or conduct transgressions. Documentation should clarify the nature of the infraction, its negative impact and proposed management and employee action.

35 Questions? Comments? Thank you so much for attending this workshop today. We hope the information has been helpful and meaningful to you! Before we leave do you have any additional questions, concerns or comments on the information or materials presented today?

36 Thank you for your attention and interest!
Course Evaluation Please be sure to complete and leave the evaluation sheet you received with your handouts. Thank you for your attention and interest!

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