By Mike Cieri, MSIR, Vice President of Mardac Consultants
As hard as it can be, discipline is an absolutely necessary skill for all supervisors. Disciplining is not about punitive discipline, you don’t need to whip your people into shape, or bully them to get them to behave. Instead, an effective manager practices respectful discipline that is effective and that fits the situation.
- Effective discipline places the responsibility for the problem and the solution on the individual who is the disciplinary problem rather than on his or her supervisor.
- Effective discipline provides for a positive outcome rather than a punitive one.
- Effective discipline solves the problem rather than exacerbating it.
Characteristics of an Effective Disciplinarian
- Setting clear expectations/agreements
- Being sensitive to individual situations while being consistent and fair to the other team members.
- Being empathetic
- Putting the responsibility for both the problem and the solution on the employee.
Steps of Effective Discipline
- Focus on a specific performance problem
- Specific observable behavior (You were late by 40 minutes)
- Describe the behavior, not evaluate it.
- Gain agreement about the problem from the team member
- Explain the impact of the behavior has on you, and others or the organization.
- Remind them of the goal and wait for a response.
- Have the employee take the lead in proposing solutions to the problem
- Ask for specific solutions
- Agree together on a solution
- Have the employee take the lead in proposing the follow-up process
- Then follow-up. This is an extremely important aspect of discipline. If you do not follow up, there is no reason to change the behavior.
About the author:
Mike Cieri, MSIR, is Vice President of Mardac Consultants and been in the Human Resource Management field for over 20 years. During this time he has held a variety of management positions, including several years on the executive management team of a large corporation as Vice President of Human Resources and Safety, as well as Vice President of Operations.