Discipline is important in the workplace because it helps supervisory personnel ensure that employees adhere to established company rules and policies. It allows them to correct unacceptable behavior and maintain good conduct in the company. Discipline encompasses the issuance of a letter of warning, letter of suspension or actual termination.
Unacceptable behaviors in the workplace are misconducts that cannot be tolerated. To correct behavioral deficiencies, members of management use disciplinary actions. Examples of misconduct include insubordination, theft, dishonesty, failure to follow rules and policies, rude or abusive language at work, failure to notify an absence and excessive tardiness.
According to The University of British Columbia Human Resources department, management must take into account certain factors when deciding to use discipline. These factors include the seriousness of the offense in terms of violating rules or policies, provocation, the employee’s length of service and his previous work record. Moreover, management must consider if the employee clearly understood the rule that he violated, if management consistently and fairly enforced this rule and if the employee knew he was violating the rule. Another factor to consider is whether the employee admitted and apologized for the misconduct.
The discipline process involves the investigation and discipline stages. The investigation stage is a crucial part of the process, and it requires a manager to gather facts and evidence on the misbehavior. He also has to interview the employee to hear the employee’s explanation. Once management verifies facts and gathers all necessary evidence, the disciplinary decision is made.