What is employee discipline and termination support
Many managers place Employee Discipline as “the fourth horseman of the apocalypse” of discomfort and worry. No one enjoys having to correct, much less terminate, an employee.
However, it is a simple fact of life and work that from time to time, employees do not meet legitimate expectations.
Often an employee responds well to corrective action. Sometimes, an employee just does not work out and the employer must go in a different direction.
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Loose ends when firing
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More about our Discipline and termination support
What is termination of employment or dismissal?
Terminating an employee, whether for misconduct or a reduction in force, is never a pleasant task for anyone. However, at times it is a necessary part of managing a workforce. Voluntary termination by an employee through resignation or retirement may not carry the negative stigma of an involuntary termination, but it does trigger certain responsibilities for the employer.
What choices do I have if I need to discipline an employee?
Counseling: For a first offense and a minor infraction, an oral discussion characterized as “counseling” is appropriate. The employee’s supervisor should inform the employee of the infraction and clearly advise the employee of the conduct expected.
Verbal Warning/Reprimand: A verbal warning or reprimand is appropriate for a more serious offense where counseling is inadequate. It could also be a step following counseling. When issuing an oral warning the employer should clearly advise the employee regarding what is needed to improve the employee’s conduct and advise the employee that more severe disciplinary consequences will follow repetition of the infraction.
Written Warning(s)/Reprimand: The next step is the written warning or reprimand. This document should clearly state the infraction and clearly state the consequences for a repeat offense. The written warning or reprimand should be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
What are my possible courses of action?
Transfer. Sometimes an employee who performs poorly in one position will perform well in another.
Withhold compensation increases. Employees should not be rewarded for poor performance. An employee who has a pattern of misconduct may be denied a compensation increase.
Demotion. It may be appropriate to demote an employee, perhaps to a level where the employee may better perform.
Suspension without pay. The length of the suspension may vary from a day or two to a week or more, depending upon the seriousness of the infraction.
Termination: the decision to terminate an employee should be one made as a result of consultation by the employee’s supervisor with one or more upper level managers. The decision should never be made by a single person. Consistency is important. An employer opens itself to various legal claims if one employee is discharged for an infraction while another employee is merely suspended for a few days.
Terminating an employee is a very sensitive matter, requiring careful communication and documentation to avoid potential lawsuits or other future problems. It is prudent to consult an employment law attorney or HR specialist before taking any specific steps should the need to terminate an employee arise.
I.M HR can take lead on the entire process, and together with your legal and HR, our specialised consultant will find the right solution for everyone involved, so that, at the end of the termination process, your firm will see the dismissal as being a fortunate one.
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