Understanding the Disciplinary Action Process


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Presented by – Monica Tovar, PHR, HR Advisor G&A Partners

The Disciplinary Action Process is a critical part of employee relations and is also an important communication tool. While it can be an effective strategy to modify unacceptable behavior or improve performance, it is also complex and requires expertise.

In this webinar, you will learn to discipline employees through verbal and written form. After this session, you will also be able to create an employee improvement plan to achieve desired results and get back on track to a successful and productive employee experience.

Published in: Business, Technology

Understanding the Disciplinary Action Process

  1. 1. Monica Tovar, PHRG&A Partners
  2. 2. Goals•  Understand the four steps involved in theprogressive discipline process.•  Understand why you need to investigatethe facts before you implementprogressive discipline.•  Be able to identify which disciplinaryactions are appropriate to use in specificsituations.•  Learn how to impose employee discipline.•  Be able to write a PerformanceImprovement Plan (PIP).•  How to conduct an employee termination.
  3. 3. Four Steps of theDisciplinary Action Process
  4. 4. Steps of Progressive Discipline1.  Verbal Warning2.  Written Warning3.  Final Written Warning/Suspension4.  Termination
  5. 5. Communicate the Policy•  All employees should be familiar withthe process.– At the time of hire– Employee Handbook– During performance appraisals•  The process should be enforcedconsistently among employees.
  6. 6. Common Reasons for Discipline•  Absenteeism•  Tardiness•  Insubordination (bad attitude)•  Poor Job Performance•  Unwillingness to Participate
  7. 7. Know the Facts•  Review the Infraction•  Conduct an Investigation•  Review the Documentation
  8. 8. Step 1: Verbal Warning•  In many instances an employee’sinfractions are not so severe thatthey warrant a formal writtenwarning. In these cases an informalverbal warning is warranted.– Private meeting– Be prepared with list of issues
  9. 9. Step 2: Written Warning•  Continued Poor Performance•  New Infraction•  Formal Documentation•  Be prepared to follow through withconsequences if performance doesnot improve.
  10. 10. Performance Improvement Plan•  Known as PIP•  Tool used to improve behavior•  Agreement between employee andemployer•  Goals, Actions and Timeframe
  11. 11. Example: PIP Form
  12. 12. Step 3: Suspension/Final Written•  Last chance•  Can range from one day to a few weeksdepending on the violation.•  Should not be a paid vacation•  Does not affect exempt status•  Amount of suspension should correspond with theinfraction•  Document and place in employee’s personnel file
  13. 13. Employee Meetings•  Before–  Identify the gap between what is expected andwhat has been delivered.–  Identify good business reasons forexpectations.–  Identify consequences if behavior is notcorrected (be prepared to follow through)–  Have specific examples–  Be determined to get the employee to agree tochange.–  Decide where to hold the meeting–  Additional action if necessary
  14. 14. Employee Meetings•  During– Get right to the point (state the problemand ask for help fixing it)– Listen carefully to the employee– Make sure you gain an agreement (donot accept “I’ll try”)– Insist on an improvement plan– Let the employee know exactly wherehe or she stands
  15. 15. Employee Meetings•  After– Document the discussion (MUST DO!)– Follow-up
  16. 16. Step 4: Termination•  Due to the severity of the employee’sinfraction or failure to improvepreviously discussed poorperformance, termination issometimes appropriate andwarranted.– Last resort– If all progressive discipline steps havefailed– Some violations require immediatetermination
  17. 17. Terminations: Legal Aspects•  Employment “At-Will”•  Wrongful termination charges account for overhalf of the discrimination claims filed withEEOC•  Anti-Retaliation•  Employment contracts•  Union environments•  Employee handbooks
  18. 18. Conclusion•  It is easier to hire than to fire•  Keep accurate, up to date records•  Keep an up-dated employee handbook•  Make sure all your employees know thepolicies and procedures of the company•  Do not violate any federal or state laws•  Follow the policy and be consistent!
  19. 19. Questions?Send any questions toinfo@gnapartners.com