As a business owner, you will sometimes have to take disciplinary action against employees. If a member of staff is breaking rules and causing disruption in the office, you need to take action before it causes wider problems in the business. However, taking disciplinary action can be a risk and if the employee feels that it is unwarranted, they could even take legal action. It can also create a lot of bad feelings around the office, so you need to handle the situation carefully. Here are a few tips to follow when you are disciplining an employee…
Gather Evidence Before Making Accusations
Before you begin any disciplinary action against an employee, you need to make sure that you have all of the information available. It is important not to jump to conclusions or accuse someone of something if there isn’t proof that they did it. You should never discipline anyone based on hearsay, so make sure that you are able to prove any claims before acting on them. If you are unsure about anything, you should consult with employment tribunal services for advice. If things do escalate, they will be able to help you handle the situation, but they can also help you avoid it in the first place. So, before you rush into anything, get some advice to help you avoid a difficult situation.
Stay Calm and Professional
One of the hardest things about disciplining an employee is staying calm and professional. You might feel that it is unfair that you need to take disciplinary action, but you must put that personal feeling aside when dealing with staff members. If you get angry and make accusations in a heated manner, the situation will escalate and nobody will come out on top. The best way to handle this type of situation is to think rationally and calmly plan your course of action before doing anything. Never let emotions get in the way or discipline someone in anger as they may begin to resent you for it.
Document All Disciplinary Action
If you feel that disciplinary action is necessary for your company, then the best thing that you can do is document everything. Documentation will be extremely useful if an employee decides to take legal action against you for unfair dismissal or something like this. If they claim that they broke a rule and were not given any formal warning about it, you will be able to produce evidence of previous warnings and show exactly what steps you took before taking action.
Be Consistent With Judgments
It is important to be consistent with how you handle staff members. You should have a standard set of rules for the company that everyone is aware of, so you must apply them equally to all employees. If one staff member gets away with something that another staff member was punished for, it will only cause resentment and conflict on the work floor. When someone breaks a rule, make sure that they are always disciplined in exactly the same manner or there could be problems later on. This is especially important as the working model changes in the wake of COVID-19 and things like working hours are more flexible than they were before. You can’t, for example, penalize one employee for starting work later while allowing others to have flexible hours.
It’s vital that you follow these tips when taking disciplinary action against an employee, or you could end up in trouble.
*This is a collaborative post