Employee Discipline is vital in any successful business or organisation. Yet, the very words sound threatening, challenging and rather ‘command and control’.
The truth of the matter is that there have to be agreed ways of working that everyone subscribes to in a business, to generate the very best results. Within those boundaries, rather than have a stifling effect on creativity, fun and energy, quite the opposite occurs.
Great Staff Discipline removes clutter and allows your people to focus on what they do best, without the distractions of petty squabbles or politics (well, maybe not all politics!).
With agreed guidelines and standards, these tools provide the basis for developing that most effective discipline of all – Self Discipline.
“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline, or the pain of regret or disappointment.”
Top Ten Things About Employee Discipline
In the very best organisations, or more precisely, the very best teams, Employee Discipline is not an issue. It just isn’t there. In the culture, is embedded a way of working where discipline rarely shows up and even then, it is often dealt with quietly and efficiently by other members of the team.
So, the very best with Employee Discipline…
- Have Clear Expectations
Everybody knows what is expected of them, one by one, to get their job done satisfactorily.
- Listen and Hear
By being able to listen to their people, the best at Employee Discipline are aware of issues easily. By ‘hearing’ what they say, this builds a two-way process which pre-empts issues and prompts pro-active solutions early.
- Provide ‘Ways of Working’ Rules
Through consultation and understanding the needs of their people, great exponents of Staff Discipline publish the core standards they expect of their people.
- Are Approachable
In conjunction with 2), they are easy to approach and therefore build strong relationships with their people, thus ensuring they are in the debates that happen.
- Deal with Indiscipline
For those who do transgress, there is a process which is firm and fair, delivered across the board, in a generative and supportive way, yet definite too. Staff are clear what will happen – and it does.
- Lead by Example
The best with Employee Discipline ‘Walk Their Talk’. They don’t expect anyone to behave differently to the way they do – indeed they generate a relationship with their people such that they are given useful feedback, which they use.
- Are Very Fair
Whilst there are policies and practices in their business, the best with building a good Employee Discipline culture in their business appreciate that sometimes things need to be changed or challenged and so when that happens, they are fair about it and not closed. through this, even better outcomes are achieved.
- Leverage Abilities
Sometimes, an individual may give the impression of being wayward or even out of control. Great managers also realise that sometimes, people get into the wrong job and that has implications. So they seek to understand better and find the round hole that this round hole person wants and needs, rather than a square one. Then this leverages and ‘turns around’ the talented people who might otherwise be lost.
- Have a Formal Process
Organisations often have proscribed disciplinary procedures. These are to enable consistency and fairness, on both sides of the equation. In the best businesses, these are used properly with understanding, focus and commitment. Ironically, when this is the case, they have to be used less often.
- In the Bones
In the best businesses, Staff Discipline is not something ‘done-to’, it is inherent. That is it is the way of being, because individuals have taken it on board and made sure that they practice self-discipline.
Ten Ways to be Better at Employee Discipline
- Get a System
Ensure that all your people know what is expected of
them personally and as part of a team. Add to this s formal structure for dealing
with indiscipline and explain it upfront. Where you can, enable your people to be
involved in creating these.
- Build Relationships
Take every opportunity to build informal relationships with your people, through conversation, discussion and any form of work or non-work related chat.
- Be Honest
Be honest with yourself and with your people, all the time. Create trust through keeping promises, being open and seeking to understand others better.
- Focus on Outcomes
If you keep in mind that it is your bottom line
that is important here, it flushes out any sentimentality or weakness you might
have in this area.
- …And Inputs
Yet, recognise that you have the accountability to
deliver this people stuff. It’s what you put in that will dictate what you get out.
Yes, again, it’s up to you!
- Build Consistency
Through sticking with what you’ve agreed to be
the ‘rules’ (albeit with a little tweaking), your people get to realise what is to be, is to be and will get better at accepting and then valuing
the way it is in your business.
- Be Respectful
Even when you are working an agreed set of principles
in your business, be caring and understanding – it costs you nothing and yet it builds your people’s faith in you and the process without fail.
- Encourage Involvement
Getting your employees to take part in shaping
the way you all agree to work together makes the acceptance of the agreement much
easier and far more likely to succeed.
- Appreciate Growth
By seeing how far you have come and sharing with
your people how much progress they, you and the business is getting from a set
of principles you all stick to, more energy will come.
- Support Others
Be there for your people, especially in the early
days as you fine tune and introduce a discipline process. They will welcome your
support and encouragement
5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!
- Assess where you are with staff discipline. You need to know and be honest
with yourself – so reflect on the issues you have faced in the last month and
think carefully about the source of these.
- Then, be honest about what you need to do differently personally – what
shifts do you have to make and what’s stopping you?
- Ask your key people to be honest with you too – not just about what you need
to do, but also what they see as changes that are needed as well. Work together.
- See the future – what do you want it to be like in three months, for things
to evolve to be better – much better – be demanding of yourself.
- Ask for help in getting this right, but start now and take steps today to
move yourself forward – then a step a day.