Discipline is often associated with punishment. This association clouds the positive implications of discipline. Discipline ensures order and well-being of others. Hence, it is applicable not only in case of children but also in workplace where adults work. This is the reason that employee discipline is a part of human resources.
According to Rutgers University Human Resources, the aim of employee discipline is to correct the behavior of a worker through instruction instead of punishing him. A supervisor must explain to her subordinates where they need to improve. She must provide her expertise and give time to those working under her to implement her suggestions and improve their performance. If the employee refuses to improve or correct his conduct, then strict disciplinary action may be taken. The best form of employee discipline is when it does not come as a surprise. Authorities must communicate regularly with the employees, so they have an idea about what’s coming.
Conduct of an employee affects other employees too. Employee discipline is a way of protecting other workers who put in their time and talent at the workplace. With a clear and effective employee-discipline plan in place, employees know the consequences of their conduct. This streamlines providing information about employee behavior and provides a sense of security to employees. This ensures the right to protection to which every employee is entitled.
A transparent employee-discipline program can deal effectively with problems like absenteeism, tardiness, missing deadlines or not adhering to other codes of conduct at the workplace. Employee discipline indirectly helps employees to put their time to best use.
Other than ensuring protection, an effective employee-discipline code creates a congenial environment in which employees can work. This increases their output, which translates into increased profit for an organization. Also in today’s world of easy communication, a company with a strong reputation of employee discipline can retain employees as well as attract more talent.
Positive Employee Discipline
Tools for employee discipline are powerful and must be used only in a positive way. The human resources department of the University of Oklahoma includes five components for positive employee discipline--communicating performance expectations and requirements to employees, followed by giving oral reminders, written reminders and disciplinary leave of absence, and termination. The components are in increasing order of severity. The initial components provide support and time for the employee to correct her performance. If that fails, more severe components are used. The last option, termination of employment, while not a part of positive employee discipline, has to be taken under some circumstances. Some organizations use suspension before discharging an employee.