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Disciplinary Measures: Legal Obligations and Best Practices


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Overview of incidents that require disciplinary measures: when do you
resort to discipline and why it is necessary in order to maintain a healthy
work environment
• What are the legal obligations that an employer must adhere to?
• Different types of discipline: progressive and positive
• Taking the stand to discipline a staff member: how do you initiate and
complete this difficult task
• Making sure staff know what is expected behaviour in order to avoid the "I
didn't know" excuse
• Ensuring disciplinary measures are consistent in order to avoid discrimination

Published in: Business
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Disciplinary Measures: Legal Obligations and Best Practices

  1. 1. Disciplinary Measures:Legal Obligations & Best Practices 11 am Dec 6th, 2012 Whitehorse, YT Canada 1045 Chris Hylton 800 449-5866
  2. 2. Agenda2  Overview of incidents that require disciplinary measures: when do you resort to discipline and the need to maintain a healthy work environment  The legal obligations of an employer  Types of discipline:  Progressive  Positive CG Hylton Inc
  3. 3. Agenda3  Taking a stand to discipline a staff member  How do you initiate and complete this difficult task  Making sure staff know what is expected behaviour in order to avoid the "I didnt know" excuse  Ensuring disciplinary measures are consistent in order to avoid discrimination CG Hylton Inc charges
  4. 4. 4 Do you have any workplace issues we can try and solve for you in this session? CG Hylton Inc
  5. 5. What simple tools can cure5 many bad behaviours? CG Hylton Inc
  6. 6. Light6 CG Hylton Inc
  7. 7. Mirror7 CG Hylton Inc
  8. 8. Overview8  All work settings generate disagreements among staff  Disagreements, whether involving individuals or groups of individuals, are inevitable.  It would be an unusual workplace to not have any differences of opinion.  It would also be a place stuck in the past if there were not new ideas on how to do things CG Hylton Inc
  9. 9. Overview9 Conflicts can be a plus, yielding improvements or suggestions for improvements The problem isn’t necessarily with conflicts but how we deal with them What is the simplest method of dealing with conflict? CG Hylton Inc
  10. 10. Ignore the issue10  Sometimes, ignoring the issue or attempting to forget about it, just does not work  The problem affects other situations and does not go away CG Hylton Inc
  11. 11. What are the sources of11 Conflict?  Any ideas please? CG Hylton Inc
  12. 12. There can be many sources of12 conflict  How people talk (or don’t talk) to each other  How information is shared and handled  How people deal with each other (relationships) CG Hylton Inc
  13. 13. Sources of Conflict13  Differences in values and what’s important (priorities)  How and when things are done (procedures, scheduling)  How work and responsibilities are arranged (work structure and distribution) CG Hylton Inc
  14. 14. Spectrum of Responses14  Ignoring ………………….Going to Court  In between are  Discuss  Negotiate  Mediation (third party)  Arbitration (third party - union)  Investigation (third party CG Hylton Inc
  15. 15. Harassment Investigation15  Nurse alleges lateral violence from another employee and lodges complaint thru union  There is a union  It is a small workplace  Employer hires an Investigator, with agreement of union CG Hylton Inc
  16. 16. Goal of Investigation16  The goal of our investigation is to try to find out what actually occurred,  to establish whether what happened is in violation of policy or law,  then work with the employer to seek remedies that address the concerns of all parties in a respectful and constructive manner. CG Hylton Inc
  17. 17. Typical Investigation Team17  Two Investigators involved  Use rigorous set of questions to determine facts, not judge  Focus on facts not emotions or opinions  Make all witnesses and complainant comfortable  After witnesses do redirect interviews with complainant then respondent  Analysis  Write report CG Hylton Inc
  18. 18. Typical Questions18  Can you tell me about the incident(s) that prompted you to file a complaint?  What role does this person have in connection with your work (i.e., supervisor, co-worker, supervise)?  What kind of conduct has this person engaged in that you find offensive?  When and where did the behavior occur? CG Hylton Inc
  19. 19. Typical Questions19  How often did a particular behavior described occur?  Did you keep a journal, diary, or record of the events you’ve described? If so, request a copy.  What was the effect of this behavior on you? Did it affect your work? How? How did you respond?  Did you indicate that the behavior was unwelcome? How?  Do you know of anyone else who has experienced similar behavior? CG Hylton Inc
  20. 20. Typical Questions20  Were there any witnesses? Who?  Did you tell anyone else what happened? Who? When? Why did you tell that person? What did that person do?  Do you have any documentation pertaining to your complaint? If so, request a copy.  What would the client like to see as the outcome of this process (e.g., to have the behavior stopped, counseling or discipline, CG Hylton Inc etc.)?
  21. 21. Investigation Final Report21  A description of the allegations  A description of the investigation process we undertook  A description of the background information and evidence that supports or refutes each allegation  An analysis of the evidence in respect to each allegation  A statement as to whether or not the behaviour described in each allegation constitutes a breach of the Policy CG Hylton Inc
  22. 22. Problems Requiring22 Special Attention  Absenteeism and tardiness  Insubordination and uncooperativeness  Alcohol / drug abuse  Workplace violence  Theft CG Hylton Inc
  23. 23. Absenteeism and Tardiness23  The most common reasons given for taking unscheduled time off are personal illness and family issues. CG Hylton Inc
  24. 24. Absenteeism and Tardiness24  To help reduce absenteeism:  Initiate paid time off banks, time in lieu  Initiate flex time, it costs you nothing CG Hylton Inc
  25. 25. Insubordination25  Insubordination  thedeliberate refusal to do what a supervisor or other superior asks CG Hylton Inc
  26. 26. Insubordination26  Insubordination and uncooperativeness  Criticizing  Complaining  Showing a dislike for a supervisor and the organization  Poor work habits CG Hylton Inc
  27. 27. Solution? Any ideas?27 CG Hylton Inc
  28. 28. Alcohol and Drug Abuse28  Alcohol and drug abuse  About 1 out of 10 workers abuse or are dependent on alcohol or drugs  Need to treat substance abuse arising from an addiction as a disability  Actions taken with regard to the employee should focus on work performance, not the substance abuse itself CG Hylton Inc
  29. 29. Solution? Any ideas?29 CG Hylton Inc
  30. 30. Workplace Violence30  Security managers say that workplace violence is their number one security threat  An estimated 2 million incidents of workplace violence occur each year.  Workers who abuse alcohol or drugs or who have psychological problems may be more likely to engage in violence at work. CG Hylton Inc
  31. 31. Workplace Violence31  Domestic violence is a contributing factor to workplace violence.  Domestic violence is behind millions of days of absences each year, and millions more in lost productivity CG Hylton Inc
  32. 32. Solution? Any ideas?32 CG Hylton Inc
  33. 33. Theft33 The largest cause of missing goods and money for retailers is employee theft, not shoplifting “Stealing time” / Internet surfing are also considered theft. Information theft is a serious and growing problem. CG Hylton Inc
  34. 34. Average Amount Lost per12-34 Employee Theft CG Hylton Inc
  35. 35. Second chance for theft?35 CG Hylton Inc
  36. 36. Solution? Any ideas?36 CG Hylton Inc
  37. 37. Problems Requiring37 Special Attention Questions to help uncover the true source of a performance problem:  Has the employee performed better in the past?  Has the employee received proper training?  Does the employee know and understand the objectives he or she is to accomplish? CG Hylton Inc
  38. 38. Problems Requiring38 Special Attention Questions to help uncover the true source of a performance problem:  Is the supervisor providing enough feedback and support?  Has the supervisor encouraged and rewarded high performance?  Are other employees with similar abilities performing well or experiencing similar difficulties? CG Hylton Inc
  39. 39. Potential Problem Employees39 CG Hylton Inc
  40. 40. The Cheater40  Resumes  The Interview CG Hylton Inc
  41. 41. Family members in workplace41 CG Hylton Inc
  42. 42. Gossiper42 CG Hylton Inc
  43. 43. Bully43 CG Hylton Inc
  44. 44. Conflict of interest at Work44  Does anyone have any stories to share, you don’t need to name names CG Hylton Inc
  45. 45. Conflict of Interest45 CG Hylton Inc
  46. 46. What is the responsibility of the46 Employer?  Safe workplace  Working conditions are satisfactory  Employees will not get hurt  Harrassment free & bully free  Governed by Occupational Health & Safety laws CG Hylton Inc
  47. 47. Positive vs.47 Progressive Discipline CG Hylton Inc
  48. 48. It began with a potato chip!48 Grote, Dick. (2006). Discipline without punishment: The proven strategy that turns problem employees into superior performers CG Hylton Inc
  49. 49. What is Positive Discipline?49  Provides for recognition of good performance exhibited by the majority of our employees.  A system that provides a way of solving employee performance and conduct problems by focusing on an adult to adult relationship.  Requires employees to take responsibility for their own behavior. CG Hylton Inc
  50. 50. What is Positive Discipline?50  Innovative Process for addressing performance in the work place.  Is not punitive in nature  Encourages communication CG Hylton Inc
  51. 51. Why change?51  Traditional “Progressive Discipline” system  Reflects 1930’’s labor vs. management assumptions  Goal is COMPLIANCE, not COMMITMENT  Did not reinforce a positive change  Often results in disharmony and the lack of trust in the workplace CG Hylton Inc
  52. 52. Whats wrong with the old system?52  Minimal level of communication focused on what is being done right  Conflicts with organizational values  Managers solve employee problems instead of employees taking responsibility for problems  The carrot or the stick? CG Hylton Inc
  53. 53. Problem with Progressive53 Discipline  focusing on past behaviour  focusing on a problem employee instead of an employee with a problem  emphasizing punishment over problem solving;  treating the employee like a child  creating an adversarial situation  Failing to actively assist the employee ito improve performance. Hylton Inc CG
  54. 54. Advantage of Positive Discipline?54 1. More frequent recognition of job well done 2. Confidence that managers/supervisors will confront workers who do not share the same work ethics and commitment 3. Employees will be treated equitably and fairly in the discipline CG Hylton Inc
  55. 55. What’s the advantage for55 employees? 4. Supportive of a high performance environment. 5. Provides reference guide (matrix) for movement though the process for both managers and employees – no surprises. 6. Managers given discretion to manage and provide feedback to staff. Inc CG Hylton
  56. 56. 56 CG Hylton Inc
  57. 57. Informal Positive DisciplineCommunications57  Positive contacts  Performance Improvement Discussions (PID) CG Hylton Inc
  58. 58. Formal Positive Discipline Communications58  Reminder 1  Reminder 2  Decision Making Leave (DML)  Termination CG Hylton Inc
  59. 59. What is a Decision Making Leave?59  A Decision Making Leave (DML) is a one- day disciplinary suspension with pay  It is the final step in the Positive Discipline procedure CG Hylton Inc
  60. 60. What is a Decision Making Leave? DML60 On the “Decision Day” the employee must decide: Either: 1. SOLVE the immediate problem and COMMIT to maintaining a fully acceptable performance in every area of the job or 2. RESIGN, and find more satisfying work elsewhere. CG Hylton Inc
  61. 61. Employee Rights During61 Disciplinary Process  Know expectations and consequences of not fulfilling those expectations  Receive consistent management response to rule violations  Receive fair discipline based on facts  Be able to question management’s statement of the facts and to present rebuttal  Receive progressive or positive discipline  Be able to appeal a disciplinary action CG Hylton Inc
  62. 62. Termination Provisions Still in62 Play  Canada Labour Code +3 mos service – 2 weeks notice or pay  YT Employment Standards +6 mos service – 1 weeks notice or pay CG Hylton Inc
  63. 63. What did we miss63  Taking a stand to discipline a staff member  How do you initiate and complete this difficult task  Making sure staff know what is expected behaviour in order to avoid the "I didnt know" excuse  Ensuring disciplinary measures are consistent in order to avoid discrimination CG Hylton Inc charges
  64. 64.  Thank you! CG Hylton Inc would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you today Questions? 800 449-5866