Effective employee management must include progressive discipline. Properly documenting the steps the company took to correct a behavior can help protect it from wrongful termination and unemployment claims, and can help the employee know exactly what is expected of him or her.
The basic steps of progressive discipline are:
- Verbal Counseling (place documentation of counseling in the employee’s file, including the reason for counseling, the date and time of counseling and who was present).
- First Written Warning including the specific date, time and location, and nature of the infraction, with both the employee and supervisor signature.
- Second Written Warning accompanied by short suspension without pay, if necessary (usually one to three days).
- Final Warning with longer suspension if necessary. Make it clear at this point that one more infraction will mean termination.
There are times that the severity of the action will call for immediate termination of employment, but that option should only be used in extreme circumstances, and after talking it over with your Human Resources Consultant at Nextep. Generally speaking, termination should never be a surprise to an employee since the progressive steps will have given several opportunities for improvement.
For more information on the benefits of progressive discipline or help determining your next step in certain circumstances, please contact Nextep’s HR Department at 888-811-5150.