HR Tip: Establishing a Discipline Procedure

What is Discipline?

  • A mode of life in accordance with rules.
  • Order maintained by control.
  • To bring under control.
  • Instruction.
  • To improve by corrective and penal methods.

Why Do We Need Discipline?

  • Maintain control.
  • Maintain standards.
  • Safeguard staff.
  • Safeguard property.
  • Maintain efficiency.
  • Organizational success.

The purpose of a disciplinary procedure is to ensure all employees conduct themselves in accordance with company rules and procedures, and perform their work to a satisfactory standard in order to maintain an efficient and successful business.

  1. List as many disciplinary offences that could happen in your organization as you can think of.
  2. Categorise the list into the following 3 categories: misconduct, gross misconduct and capability.
  3. Next to each offence write what action should be taken. For example, poor performance could be dealt with at an informal stage (a meeting followed by extra supervision and monitoring), whereas a more serious event requires a formal stage (a written warning or dismissal).
  4. Who is responsible for taking that action? (HR, line manager etc.)

You should also apply the five standard steps for the procedure:

  1. Investigation – Establish facts prior to any disciplinary action. Interview the employee concerned, other employees involved and all the witnesses to the incident. Check the employee’s personal records.
  2. Deliberation – Consider the conditions, the facts, the circumstances and the employees personal records.
  3. Notification – Notify the employee of the date and time of the interview hearing (5 days notice), provide clear details of all allegations/charges, provide copies of the relevant documents and statements to be used in the hearing (no surprises), include a copy of the organizations policy/procedure, the right to representation and the name of the Discipline Officer.
  4. Interview – Decide the standard interview format and procedure for the organization. Make it clear in writing.
  5. Appeal – Give all employees the RIGHT to appeal.

Remember: Be firm, fair and consistent.

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East

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