Progressive discipline is effective in managing problematic employees. Its implementation will either resolve the employee's negative behavior or it will provide the tools that are needed in order to conduct a fair termination. Generally, progressive discipline consists of a documented verbal warning, a written warning, a final written warning, and, finally, termination. The next time you are issuing a final warning to a failing employee, consider coupling it with a Day of Contemplation. This is a one-time paid day off from work in which the employee seriously contemplates his or her future with the company.
When taking a Day of Contemplation, the employee is assigned the task of writing a letter acknowledging the problems and describing the manner in which he/she plans to resolve them. The employee must acknowledge a clear understanding that in reverting to the old problematic ways, the employee will be effectively terminating him or herself from the position. The Day of Contemplation conveys the gravity of the situation while making the employee responsible for changes that are made, whether it results in a new outlook at work or leaving the company for a better employment fit elsewhere.
To implement a Day of Contemplation into your progressive discipline program, contact Nextep's HR Department at email@example.com or 888-811-5150 for further advice and sample forms.