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Dealing with Staff Discipline Issues

By: ScheduleBase

 

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The one thing that can mar your management efforts are discipline issues from your employees. You can be the best manager in the world, but sometimes your staff will still act out. How you handle it will determine how much these issues affect your business.

 
Prevention is the Best Measure
 
While you can’t completely prevent discipline issues, you can circumvent many of them simply by having firm and clear rules in place. While you don’t need to overwhelm new hires with a long list of do’s and don’ts, you should cover the basics:
 
  • Attendance and punctuality
  • Dress code
  • Behavior considered as sexual harassment
  • Consequences for breaking rules
 
Be Firm on Taking Discipline
 
One of the worst things you can do in keeping staff in line is wavering when it comes time to applying consequences for unacceptable behavior. If one employee sees that you constantly overlook the fact that another is habitually late, what incentive does she have to show up on time? If your staff knows you don’t like confrontation, they won’t respect your rules.
 
 
That’s why it’s imperative that you make it clear that breaking the rules you’ve clearly outlined will result in disciplinary action. That could be as small as writing a report on the behavior, or immediate termination, depending on the “crime.” But clearly outline what those consequences are up front, too. For example, stealing from the company will get an employee fired, while being late 3 or more times will result in a warning. Never dole out the punishment based on your emotions; stick to a prescribed list of discipline so that your staff can’t claim you treated them unfairly.
 
Keep a Paper Trail
 
For minor infractions like low productivity or tardiness, write up a report documenting the incident. If you’ve set three infractions as the limit before more serious consequences are given, you’ll have written proof that this individual did indeed come in late two other times. This keeps you safe from lawsuits and other harassment from your staff.
 
As long as you’ve clearly communicated what you expect from your staff, and what will happen if they don’t live up to those expectations, discipline issues should be minimal. When they do arise, if you have your consequences laid out, it’s that much easier to deal with and correct the problems.
 
Managing your staff — for better or worse — is part of your job. Make it easier by putting together a plan for discipline issues now before you need it.
 
This article was originally published by ScheduleBase
Published: December 18, 2014
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ScheduleBase is online employee scheduling software from Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a leading provider of business software solutions for over 20 years. ScheduleBase is used by all types of small businesses to schedule and communicate with full-time and part-time employees.

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