There are many instances where employers have to manage employees exhibiting unprofessional conduct. And in this case, employers need to take action and implement discipline through different actions. Managers and team leaders can use a disciplinary process to achieve the best results. Let’s read on to find out what a disciplinary process is and how you can conduct one.

What is a Disciplinary Process?

A disciplinary process is a step-by-step process designed to stop employee misconduct. The disciplinary process depends on the current situation of misconduct in a company. There are a plethora of ways a company can curb misbehavior and promote exemplary behavior in its employees. You can include an informal meeting where the situation is less serious or a formal meeting with the employee in question or introduce new rules and regulations that can monitor good behavior.

With the help of a disciplinary process, you can establish a healthy work environment that does not promote any misconduct. The purpose of a disciplinary process is not to be very hard on the employees and enforce strict rules. Still, it helps employers work together with employees to solve their disciplinary problems. It also forms part of being procedurally fair when it comes to claim of harsh or unjust treatment and decisions resulting from a disciplinary.

Employers must develop an effective disciplinary procedure that can improve employee behavior.

How to Conduct a Disciplinary Procedure?

Here are some steps that can help you get the best outcomes for your disciplinary procedure:

Assess The Situation First

Before you make any decisions, it is imperative for you first to assess the situation thoroughly. You must look for answers such as, “what happened?” “Why did it happen?” and “what could have been done?” This way, you will be able to gather information about the misconduct, which will later help you make the right decisions. Jumping to strict actions will not be a good idea and will often worsen matters. You may misjudge the situation and discipline an employee who was not guilty of misconduct.

Conduct an Investigation

Once you have the basic details of the situation down, the next thing to do is conduct an in-depth investigation. You need to make a fair decision, which will only be possible if you carefully understand the situation and all its details.

The depth of the investigation depends on the kind of misconduct the employee has committed. To conduct the investigation, you can interview all the witnesses and gather all the possible evidence so that your employee does not deny the accusation.

You should have all the information about the incident before you talk to your employee so that you have all the facts and do not blame the employee for something they did not do.

Meet with the employee (s)

The next thing you can do is talk to your employee (s). You need to set up a disciplinary meeting where you will have to follow proper protocol. The best way to inform the employee about the disciplinary meeting is by sending them an official email. In your email, you can include things such as their rights for the meeting.

Moreover, you must inform them of the exact reason why you are calling them for the meeting and what the consequences could ensue. When you start the meeting, explain the misconduct to them and present all the evidence that suggests they are responsible.

Have two-way communication, giving the employee a chance to come forward with their side of the story. If they have some things to add, it is possible that you need to further investigate and get to the root of the problem.

You should also fix the date on the email that you send, which they can change at their convenience. The date you set should also not be soon after you send the email, as you should give them ample time to become more comfortable with the idea of a meeting.

You will also need to allow them the opportunity to bring a support person.

Reach A Conclusion With Them

Keep in mind that this is a meeting. You need to sit with the employee and take a look at all the different aspects of both sides. This way, you will be able to come up with a solution. Make sure you give the employee an opportunity to respond and ensure that you have not made any predetermined outcomes or judgments.

If the employee is guilty of misconduct, you will need to take corrective action accordingly.

When giving sanctions, consider all the previous cases with similar circumstances and learn how they relate to the current situation. You can take inspiration from the way that case was dealt with and use it for the current case.  

Ask the employee if they Agree.

You will be making the final decision once the meeting is over. Once you decide, inform the employee of your decision and give them the chance to appeal or talk to you about it. If the employee disagrees with your decision, they have the right to appeal. If they appeal the decision, you will need to arrange an appeal meeting and include a third person to help sort out the case and listen to both sides of the story.

If an employee appeals a disciplinary outcome they should be treated no differently for doing so and be given a fair, unbiased and open opportunity to put their case forward to another party that has not been previously involved.

Make A Report

Always make a report of anything that goes around in the office. From start to finish, ensure that you include all the details of the disciplinary process so that you can always refer to it whenever you need to revisit the misconduct report.

Follow these steps, and you will be able to find the best solution for all the misconduct going around in your office. Be sure to listen and eyes to see all the different aspects of the misconduct.

If you need any help with this process or require any of the following supporting workplace policies or procedures please book a time with our expert team using our calendar booking system.

Supporting policies 

  • Disciplinary Procedure
  • Dispute resolution Policy
  • Workplace Bullying Policy
  • Respectful Workplace Policy
  • Professional Conduct Policy
  • Conflict of Interest Policy
  • Code of Conduct
  • Sexual Harassment Policy