Progressive Discipline – A great coaching tool

The first role of a Leader is to effectively communicate.  A great leader will recognize the variety of ways they have to communicate.  Conversely, an employee wants to follow someone that knows where they are going.  Employees only want a few things out of a job, certainly pay and stability, but employees also want to contribute, they want to make sure they are doing a good job.  Training, Coaching and development tools are often used while Onboarding a new employee, but once that 90 day grace period is up how corrections are communicated are critical to developing each employee.

Many I have spoken with view the Progressive Discipline process as a means to an end.  “It’s how you fire someone, right?”  It is looked at a tool to document when employees have not performed, broken policy or exhibit unacceptable behavior.  While this is true, it does all that, the Progressive Discipline process is a much greater tool to both employees and management.

Progressive Discipline is a great coaching tool

The Progressive Discipline process dates back to the 1930’s and was instituted as a way for EMPLOYEES to know that a business would treat them fairly.  This is a policy that is designed to protect individuals from being treated differently than others with in that company and it holds all parties (both management & employees) accountable.  It is a process that forces a supervisor to be progressive with both coaching and accountability, thus improving leadership with in an organization.  A process that levels the playing field for employees because it assures them they are not being singled out and that everyone would be treated consistently.  Lastly, it is a process that should teach and hold all employees accountable for job performance, following company policy, and matters relating to company culture or work environment.

One problem is that employees generally first hear of this policy when they are in trouble.  It is referred to by the “boss” who says that “HR is making me do this, sign here”.  This is lazy management in my opinion.  I became notorious for conducting a very long employee orientation class wherever I have worked.  It is the best way to set expectations(but more on that another time).  I ALWAYS go into detail about the Progressive Discipline policy and that it is there for their protection, and I can tell you that people like hearing that.

What is Progressive Discipline?  – a quick overview

A Progressive Discipline policy exists in most companies and is usually found in the Human Resource Policy and Procedures.  It states that when employees exhibit certain actions or behaviors contrary to policy, regulations or municipal laws that the company will respond in a specific way.  Most occurrences fall under a “Progressive” category and most policy’s also list certain actions that could mean immediate discharge.  I like to refer to that section “the deadly sins” because most people understand that severe consequence are associated with it.

For the instances that fall under a progressive category, the policy outlines a course of action to take each one being more severe than the last, hence “progressive”.  This is for 2 reasons.  To guide the managers and to inform the employee of potential consequence.  The law is clear to state that the business needs to inform an employee of the consequence should they repeat that action.  Failing to do so will likely mean that you could lose in court if sued by the employee.  Losing in court can cost you a lot of money (and pride) and the court is generally on the side of the employee, so you better be prepared.  Here is a generally accepted hierarchy of the progressive steps taken.

First offense – Simple conversation, nothing for the employee to sign.  But a pointed conversation stating what was wrong and what will happen if it happens again.  Once you have done this, it is up to the employee to manage their own actions.

TIP – The manager should make notes to “record” this conversation.  You may have to prove down the road that you had this conversation and accurate notes are the accepted medium of proof.  Date and time should be included.

Second offense – Generally called a “Verbal Warning”.  This is the first official session.  You sit with the employee in a private location.  Make sure their privacy is secure and respected.  You reiterate that you spoke about this before (time & date), and that it happened again which is why you are speaking.  This time you will have something in writing speaking to the policy they broke if possible.  Again, you state what happened and what the next step will be if they repeat the action.

Third offense – Escalates to a “Written Warning”.  Same process, tell them what other times they were spoken to about this, that they did it again, and what will happen should it occur again.

In each of these instances do not scold the employee.  This is not emotional, it should be very matter of fact.  You did this, your not supposed to do that, if you do it again then this will happen.  Do you understand, thank you bye bye.  Raising your voice, using gestures or even looking angry can look bad in a court of law.  Be smart.

Each company’s policy may be different as to how many chances an employee will get prior to the last warning.  Smaller companies may terminate on second written warning, larger companies may wait until 3rd written warning and it may require a managers superior being involved.  This is for the employees protection.  It ensures that multiple people in the company are in agreement that it is a justified action.  It makes it more difficult for a manager to terminate an employee, thus creating more protection.

So why is this a good Coaching tool?
  1. This is designed to insure that an employee knows what is expected and gives ample time to correct the behavior in question.  During this time the supervisor should not be looking at this as discipline but as a corrective tool.  Perhaps it identifies where additional training is needed or makes them reassess job responsibilities and workloads.  The supervisor wants the employees to succeed in completing their tasks on time and is held accountable by their supervisor for doing so.  Clearly the supervisor should have a vested interest in making whatever happened not repeat.  This process helps clarify expectations to the employee and is a Leadership “best practice  “ It is really just an opportunity for training.
  2. Other employees are aware long before management that someone is not doing there job correctly.  They are upset by this because they work hard to meet the standards but this other person “gets away” with not doing the same.  Correcting that problem WILL be noticed by other employee’s, guaranteed.  Of course, you never tell the other employees that you wrote someone up, they notice because the problem went away.  This sends a message that all the rules/policies apply to all of the employees.
  3. Discussion of a particular policy (what ever you had to address) often leads to discussion of other policies.  The employee may come to you with questions on another policy or standard.  Welcome this, it is good discussion and will increase everyones awareness of policies.  Policies are the expectations of the company and discussing expectations is clear leadership.  Discussion leads to conformity, and conformity generally means employees are more productive.
  4. This process will create open communication in the workplace
  5. Open communication tends to decrease turnover
  6. If a team is properly Coached it tends to be more effiecient, which saves money
The Downside of the Progressive Discipline process
  1. Time demanding
  2. Must be consistently utilized throughout organization
  3. Easy for Managers to misuse
  4. Employees can “play” the system
  5. Needs an in-house examiner for escalations and approvals
  6. Can negatively affect Unemployment Insurance when not consistent
Advantages of the Progressive Discipline process
  1. Increases productivity
  2. Decreases turnover and avoids expensive replacement costs
  3. Lays the groundwork for defensible employee terminations by recording history
  4. Allows an accepted way for earlier intervention at first sign a problem is developing

Progressive Discipline is more of a mindset than a policy and it should be part of the culture in an organization.

CEO’s I work with are amazed at how many of their managers don’t know how to use this. It’s in the policy book and assumed to be used.  This is seldom even thought of until a problem erupts and then the policy is referred to like everyone uses it.  It needs to be developed into daily interactions rather than a way to rectify a problem employee in order to be effective.  Lastly, as with most of what I post, utilizing this tool effectively is directly related to your businesses ability to generate revenue.  It helps you get the most from your staff and is well worth the time investment needed.

Few other tools help you manage THE most important aspect of your business effectively as the Progressive Discipline policy.

 

When incorporated into a culture, it vastly improves accountability and believe me, everyone is watching.  Correction is part of training and development and is often a process.  If your organization can approach this as a tool that you can use to Coach your team better rather than a series of signatures needed prior to a termination you, your employees and the organization will be much better off.

 

This is a large topic yet I only touched on it here, you are welcome to contact me with any questions.

Carpe diem!

 

0 thoughts on “Progressive Discipline – A great coaching tool

  1. Appreciate it! Ample write ups!
    http://talahicc.com/
    canadian pharmacies online prescriptions canadian online pharmacy canadian rx [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canada drugs online[/url]
    rx pharmacy
    canada pharmacies prescription drugs
    canada drugs online
    cheap prescription drugs
    canadian online pharmacy reviews
    the canadian pharmacy

  2. Thanks! An abundance of material.
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    canada online pharmacies canadian pharmacy online canadian pharmacy [url=https://nicktambone.com/]top rated canadian pharmacies online[/url]
    pharmacy price comparison
    canadian pharmacy reviews
    canadian prescription drugstore
    prescription drugs online without
    canadapharmacy
    best canadian pharmacies

  3. Thank you. Terrific stuff.
    https://nicktambone.com/
    canadian pharmacy without prescription global pharmacy canada canadian drugstore online [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canadian pharmacies[/url]
    online pharmacy without prescription
    pharmacy near me
    canadian pharmacy
    trusted overseas pharmacies
    canadian pharmacies top best
    canada pharmacies online pharmacy

  4. You actually expressed this terrifically!
    http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/
    prescription drug assistance canadian pharmacy pharmacy online mexico [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]
    canada pharmacy online
    online pharmacy canada
    legitimate canadian mail order pharmacies
    internet pharmacy
    canadian online pharmacy reviews
    canadapharmacyonline.com

  5. Seriously lots of beneficial knowledge.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    canadapharmacy com mexican pharmacies shipping to usa canada drugs online pharmacy [url=https://nicktambone.com/]global pharmacy canada[/url]
    pharmacy price comparison
    canadian pharmacies without prescriptions
    canadian drug stores online
    mexican pharmacies shipping to usa
    drugs from canada
    pharmacy drug store

  6. Kudos! Useful stuff.
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    overseas pharmacy forum canadian drugs discount drugs online pharmacy [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/]north west pharmacy canada[/url]
    buy prescription drugs without doctor
    online pharmacy canada
    visit poster’s website
    no prescription online pharmacy
    prescription drugs canada
    pharmacies in canada

  7. Thank you, Great stuff.
    https://nicktambone.com/
    canada drugs online pharmacy northwest pharmacy safeway pharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmacymim.com/]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]
    canadian meds
    drugs for sale
    canadian pharmacies that are legit
    discount prescription drugs online
    drugs without prescription
    canada pharmacy online

  8. Wow many of very good knowledge!
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    canada pharmacy online no script canadian pharmacy best online pharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]online pharmacies canada[/url]
    canadian rx pharmacy online
    mexican pharmacies online
    northwest pharmacy
    buy prescription drugs from canada
    drugs for sale
    get prescription online

  9. You said that perfectly!
    http://talahicc.com/
    pharmacy canada northwest pharmacy best canadian mail order pharmacies [url=https://nicktambone.com/]canadian pharmacies-24h[/url]
    online pharmacy no prescription
    canadian cialis
    online canadian pharcharmy
    global pharmacy canada
    international pharmacies that ship to the usa
    online canadian pharmacy

  10. You actually explained that perfectly!
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    best online pharmacies no prescription mexican pharmacies shipping to usa online canadian pharcharmy [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/]canada pharmaceutical online ordering[/url]
    pharmacy near me
    canada pharmacy online no script
    no prior prescription required pharmacy
    highest rated canadian pharmacies
    meds online
    best canadian online pharmacy

  11. This is nicely put! !
    http://talahicc.com/
    canadian pharmacy online canadian pharmacies best non prescription online pharmacies [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canada pharmacy[/url]
    canada drug prices
    prescription without a doctor’s prescription
    canadapharmacyonline com
    canada drug pharmacy
    online pharmacies no prescription
    buy prescription drugs from canada

  12. You have made your position extremely nicely..
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    online pharmacy without a prescription canadian pharmacies that ship to us medical information online [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canadian pharmacy[/url]
    canadian drugstore reviews
    canadian prescription drugs
    canada drugs online
    buying drugs canada
    online discount pharmacy
    prescription drugs canada

  13. Thank you! An abundance of write ups.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    canadian pharmacy no prescription canadian pharmacy cheap drugs online [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]canada drugs online[/url]
    board of pharmacy
    no 1 canadian pharcharmy online
    online pharmacy canada
    canada drug pharmacy
    the canadian pharmacy
    walgreens pharmacy

  14. Good write ups. Many thanks!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    buying prescription drugs canada canadian cialis approved canadian pharmacies online [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canadian pharcharmy[/url]
    canada drugs online
    best online pharmacies canada
    canadian pharmacy no prescription
    my canadian pharmacy
    pharmacy near me
    canadian drugs

  15. Nicely put, Regards!
    https://nicktambone.com/
    pharmacy drug store global pharmacy canada canadian pharmacy uk delivery [url=http://canadianpharmacymim.com/]canadian pharmacies online[/url]
    canada pharmacy online reviews
    drug stores near me
    drug stores near me
    buy prescription drugs canada
    price prescription drugs
    canada pharmacy online

  16. Really lots of terrific facts.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    prescription drugs prices global pharmacy canada my canadian pharmacy [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]canadian pharmacies that ship to us[/url]
    buying prescription drugs canada
    canadian online pharmacies prescription drugs
    mexican pharmacies
    canada drug prices
    buy prescription drugs from canada
    king pharmacy

  17. Kudos! Loads of tips.
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    online discount pharmacy canada pharmacy online best online pharmacy [url=http://talahicc.com/]canada pharmaceutical online ordering[/url]
    best non prescription online pharmacies
    canadian pharmacy
    online pharmacy usa
    mexican pharmacies online
    overseas pharmacy forum
    buy prescription drugs without doctor

  18. Cheers! Lots of write ups.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    canadian pharmacy viagra brand canadian pharmacy online mexican pharmacy online medications [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]trust pharmacy canada[/url]
    best online canadian pharcharmy
    rx price comparison
    prescription online
    web medical information
    international pharmacy
    pharmacy canada

  19. You actually expressed this very well!
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    canadian pharcharmy online canadian pharmacy online buy prescription drugs canada [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]online pharmacies canada[/url]
    drug prices comparison
    canadian drugstore reviews
    canadian pharmacy uk delivery
    pharmacy online store
    northwestpharmacy
    prescription drug assistance

  20. Truly many of amazing knowledge.
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    canada drugs online canadian pharcharmy discount pharmacy online [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canadian pharmacies without an rx[/url]
    mail order pharmacies
    no prescription online pharmacy
    legitimate canadian mail order pharmacies
    canada pharmacies online prescriptions
    canadian online pharmacy reviews
    northwestpharmacy

  21. Thanks, Valuable information!
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    international pharmacies that ship to the usa canadian pharmacies-24h canada online pharmacies [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]trust pharmacy canada[/url]
    king pharmacy
    canadian pharmacies
    online drugstore
    drugs without prescription
    prescription drugs online without doctor
    online pharmacy reviews

  22. Thank you! Useful stuff!
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    buying prescription drugs canada canadianpharmacy canadian prescription drugs [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/]north west pharmacy canada[/url]
    canada drug
    reputable canadian mail order pharmacies
    online pharmacy without a prescription
    reputable canadian mail order pharmacies
    online pharmacies no prescription
    price prescription drugs

  23. Superb knowledge. With thanks.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    buy prescription drugs without doctor canadian pharmacies prescription drug cost [url=https://nicktambone.com/]canada pharmaceutical online ordering[/url]
    top rated online canadian pharmacies
    canadian pharmacy reviews
    canadian online pharmacies prescription drugs
    costco pharmacy pricing
    canadian pharmacy without prescription
    no prior prescription required pharmacy

  24. You actually mentioned that effectively!
    https://nicktambone.com/
    best online international pharmacies canada pharmaceutical online ordering canadian pharmacies online [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canada pharmaceuticals online[/url]
    best online international pharmacies
    canada pharmacies without script
    buy prescription drugs canada
    best canadian mail order pharmacies
    best canadian online pharmacy
    overseas pharmacy forum

  25. Seriously a lot of useful information!
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    mexican pharmacy online canadian drugs legitimate online pharmacies [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canadian pharmacies that ship to us[/url]
    top rated canadian pharmacies online
    online prescription drugs
    canada drugs online
    canada meds
    online pharmacy without prescription
    canada pharmacy online no script

  26. Seriously lots of fantastic knowledge.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    canadadrugs.com pharmacy north west pharmacy canada mail order pharmacy [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canada drugs[/url]
    onlinecanadianpharmacy.com
    rx online
    pharmacy near me
    canada pharmacy online no script
    prescription drug assistance
    prescription drugs online without

  27. You actually said this really well!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    mexican pharmacy online medications online pharmacies of canada pharmacy online store [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/]northwest pharmacy[/url]
    no 1 canadian pharcharmy online
    canadian pharmacy meds
    canada drugs pharmacy
    pharmacy cost comparison
    discount pharmacy online
    buy online prescription drugs

  28. Fantastic info. Thanks.
    http://talahicc.com/
    drug price canada drug canada pharmacy online no script [url=http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/]canadian online pharmacies[/url]
    pharmacy online mexico
    trusted overseas pharmacies
    top rated online canadian pharmacies
    costco pharmacy pricing
    online prescription drugs
    canada pharmacies prescription drugs

  29. Cheers, A lot of tips.
    https://nicktambone.com/
    ed meds online canadian viagra pharmacy without dr prescriptions [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/]canadian pharmacies-24h[/url]
    pharmacy price compare
    prescription drugs without prior prescription
    prescription drug assistance
    best non prescription online pharmacies
    compare rx prices
    canadadrugs.com pharmacy

  30. Wonderful facts. Thank you.
    http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/
    best canadian prescription prices canada pharmacy online prescription cost comparison [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/]online pharmacies of canada[/url]
    online canadian pharcharmy
    the canadian pharmacy
    online drugs
    king pharmacy
    discount pharmaceuticals
    canadian drugstore

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *