As a manager, disciplining employees whenever they overstep the mark at work and their behaviour doesn’t align with your staff code of conduct is an integral part of your job role. Company directors will want to see proof that you’re the captain who’s successfully steering a steady ship and looking after staff by responding to their concerns and enquiries adequately. After all, your neck could be on the line if you fail to discipline your staff correctly. Adopting a firm but fair approach is often the best when disciplining your staff. To help you out, we’ve decided to come up with this piece on how to discipline your staff the right way.

Inform Employees About Your Rules And Code Of Conduct

During the onboarding process, you must do your best to ensure new employees fully understand the explicit rules and boundaries the business enforces. Your rules and codes may concern things such as dress codes, behaviour, and the use of technology and phones in the workplace. New recruits should have a crystal-clear knowledge of your rules and expectations when the induction process has finished. There should be no place in your organisation for staff that aren’t willing to follow the rules you’ve laid out and work hard to meet your expectations.

Let Them Know Why Their Behaviour Was Wrong

In order to learn, staff who’ve behaved inappropriately must be informed by someone in a senior position why exactly their conduct was wrong. Mistakes will repeat themselves if people aren’t held to account and made aware of why their behaviour cannot be accepted in the professional world. Try and talk with them in a logical, calm manner. Going off on one and shouting your head off in the office may frustratingly fail to get your message through properly and only lead to resentment of your management style on their part. However, employees must know there are certain red lines they can’t cross, or they will be shown the door.

Management Must Communicate Well And Be Approachable

Yes, disciplining staff who are out of line or performing below par is essential, but you must remain approachable as an employer. For instance, staff must feel they can come to you if they’ve got a health condition or issues in their personal lives that affect their ability to work. In 2022, your business organisation must have a disciplinary procedure in place for employees. Read here to learn more about dealing with staff disciplinaries and grievances so that you know what you need to do going forward. 

Provide Guidance For Future Improvement

You’ve let a staff member know they have done something wrong or underperformed, and now you need to provide them with advice and guidance so they can improve in the future. What must they do if they face the same situation at work next time? Good employees with strong characters will learn from their past mistakes and come back stronger from them. Try to be forgiving about minor discrepancies, but don’t allow your staff to get complaisant and drop their performance levels.

Get The Facts Right

Before wagging your fingers accusing your employees of misconduct, which could lead to them losing their job, make sure HR does its due diligence and finds the correct information. Listening to gossip from staff members doesn’t always lead you to the truth. Try to ascertain the facts and speak to the parties involved. Leaping to a conclusion without delving deeper and discovering the relevant facts is useless. Take your time, and don’t rush things. After all, a manager with genuine leadership qualities ought to demonstrate calmness in high-pressure work situations.

Consider Why Performance Levels May Have Dropped

You truly never know what someone else is going through in their private life. However, as a manager, it’s your job to ensure staff meet company targets and inquire a little bit into the back story as to why a staff member may currently be underperforming regularly. Try not to be nosey, but politely ask them to let you know if they are experiencing any issues, big or small, that are affecting their performance levels at work. A dip or performance or signs of consistency may not be due to anything major, but you don’t know what’s going on unless you ask the staff member in question a few questions.

If one of your employees is going through trauma or has developed depression, you need to suggest they get some mental health support. Taking proper care of your staff by looking out for their mental wellbeing is vital to demonstrate you’re kind and compassionate to your cherished team as a responsible employer. Also, addressing mental wellbeing issues properly could mean they can return to work quicker.

Sadly, if a staff member is regularly failing to reach the performance levels you’ve set out as an organisation, you may have to serve them with a P45 at some point. However, always take a human approach by looking into why performance levels may have dropped.

No business can work like a well-oiled, efficient machine without disciplining staff in the right way. Think of it as contributing towards the greater good of your company.

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