Problem Employees? Here's A Solution

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Issuing employee discipline is one of the hardest aspects of being a supervisor and, since it's so difficult, it's often not done well – when it is done at all. Discipline delayed or mishandled is one of the primary causes of federal and state-agency discrimination charges as well as claims of wrongful discharge, all of which create a distraction from the business and an unplanned expenditure of resources to defend against claims. As long as employees are imperfect, various degrees of discipline will be required in every organization. But correct discipline is neither intuitive nor easy, either for the supervisor or for the employee.

The Traditional Approach

The usual way of disciplining employees is similar to disciplining children, which frequently is not very effective either. Standard disciplinary procedures involve a standard discipline form which points out the problem from management's perspective and a warning that further discipline will follow if performance does not improve. The usual discipline form is relatively easy to fill out because it requires little thought and it allows the supervisor to get through a difficult interview relatively quickly.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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