A well thought-out discipline policy, plus procedure for management to utilize, is vital for all organizations to maintain expectations and protocol. Employees are expected to perform their duties at a certain level established by the organization. They are also expected to behave in a particular manner and be at work regularly. Sometimes, employees’ performance or behavior may not meet our standards. In those circumstances, it is important to utilize established procedures for making employees aware of their deficiencies and to set expectations for correcting them.
- Never Assume; Set clear guidelines and regulations in your company handbook, detailing what is expected of employees at all times.
- Have an ‘Employment at Will’ statement in your company handbook. (EAF Members can find a sample statement in the Members Only Section of eafinc.org)
- Train all manager/supervisors on company discipline policy & procedure; make forms and resources available for documentation purposes.
It is always recommended to have an employment law attorney review your company handbook and discipline policies.
Expectation of Employees
It is important you make very clear what is allowed in your workplace. Some examples of direction to be included in your company handbook are;
- Dress Code
- Meals & Break Time
- Social Media
- Computer & Telephone Systems
- What to do on ‘down-time’
- Confidential Information
- Company Procedure & Employee Responsibility for Items Such as; Medical Leave, Vacation, Jury Duty, Complaints, etc.
See the EAF Handbook Sample for additional policy suggestions to be included in your company’s handbook.
It is vital to maintain managers/supervisors training of discipline procedures. Everyone involved in the discipline process should be following the same protocol and utilizing the same company resources to maintain personnel files, document incidents, crucial conversations with employees and warnings.
- Train managers & supervisors regularly to maintain company procedure for discipline practices.
- Utilize EAF Discipline Guides & Forms (or create your own) to maintain a structured discipline process and procedure for documentation.
- Make certain managers & supervisors understand employment at will doctrine and do not make broad statements implying contracts of employment, or promises of future employment to employees.
- Review managers & supervisors practices, performance appraisals and documentation of significant events to maintain a non-discriminatory work environment.
- Discipline managers & supervisors who fail to follow company procedures and document significant incidents.
Documentation is Key
It is imperative that all managers & supervisors are properly trained and follow company procedure for documenting any incidents, significant conversations or acts of discipline with employees. It may seem cumbersome and time consuming to document these interactions, but it is important that managers & supervisors understand the significance of maintaining such practices. These documentations can mean the difference between winning a lawsuit.
To assist your organization in creating and maintain a discipline policy & procedure, EAF has developed our latest Tool Kit for your use.
New Tool Kit Available: Discipline Policy & Procedure Guide
Simply log in to the Members Only Section of eafinc.org and access the ‘Tool Kits’ tab.
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