A human resources management best practice is for a company to have a disciplinary policy that is documented and communicated clearly to all employees.

Establishing a disciplinary policy will assist in ensuring fair treatment of all employees and making certain that disciplinary actions are prompt, uniform and impartial. The major purpose of any disciplinary action is to correct the problem, prevent recurrence and prepare the employee for satisfactory performance in the future.

Disciplinary action may call for any of four steps:

  • verbal warning
  • written warning
  • final written warning (that could include suspension)
  • termination of employment

The type of disciplinary action will depend on the severity of the problem and the number of occurrences. Based on the seriousness and gravity of a given circumstance or behavior, the company may place an employee at any step within the disciplinary process.

Employees need to know what the expectations are at the time of hire and should receive an Employee Handbook that outlines your company’s Standard of Conduct and other company work rules and policies. If violations occur, the employee should receive a documented counseling session. If further infractions occur, additional steps of progressive discipline should be taken up to and including termination of employment.

Work with your HR team to obtain forms for documenting disciplinary action. It’s extremely important to have these forms completed correctly. Disciplinary forms are used to contest unemployment claims and to minimize exposure in discrimination claims.

For information on how Sheakley can help you with any HR support including disciplinary policies and/or employee handbooks, visit our HR support page or reach out to us and let us know where we might help.