Progressive Disciplinary Strategies

Unfortunately, in every business you are going to have some employees that need to be disciplined. There are many ways that you can go about this, writing them up, taking away good shifts, and even suspension. 

Before you open for business and any disciplinary action takes place; the most important thing is to have a disciplinary policy. A progressive disciplinary policy typically includes oral warnings, written warnings, suspension, and termination. What constitutes an offense is customized to each business and how quickly you work through these steps. Tips for implementing a disciplinary policy:

  • Act Immediately – action should be taken as soon as possible after a shift occurs. You want to immediately discourage the bad behavior. 
  • Have Clear Policies in Place – Nobody wants to have a disciplinary action sprung on them. Ensure you’re handbook details what types of behavior will cause disciplinary action. You want your staff to perceive the discipline as fair, so ensure they know what behavior is not acceptable beforehand. 
  • Be Consistent – This is not only fair to your staff and will keep them happier, consistent discipline is also smart business. You do not want to open yourself to legal proceedings so ensure you are consistent in your disciplinary action across all of your employees. 
  • Be Impartial – A manager should not discipline employees because they don’t like them or because they are in a bad mood. Personal feelings should not come into the disciplinary actions, it should be based on behavior. 


Are Suspensions Really Useful?

While oral/written warnings and termination may seem like a given, suspensions are significantly trickier to give. As a business owner or manager, you are the one who is going to have to find people to replace the suspended employee, which now makes scheduling harder on you. Suspensions also put extra stress on your staff members that will need to cover those extra shifts. 

On the other side, sometimes a good employee just needs to a little time away to refocus. A suspension can allow an employee a little time to consider there actions and determine if your job is the right fit or not for them. In an industry in which many employees live paycheck to paycheck it can also send a strong financial message (not to be taken lightly.) 


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