Dameian Donnell Barnes
Central Michigan University
In the Military the broad objective of discipline is to motivate employees to conform to acceptable standards of conduct and to prevent prohibited activities. Discipline is a part of the daily responsibility of supervisors and not merely the action taken at times when an employee deviates from accept-able forms of conduct. The supervisor's most effective means of maintaining discipline is through the promotion of cooperation, of sustained good working relationships, and of the self-discipline and responsible performance expected of mature employees. Progressive discipline is a process for dealing ...view middle of the document...
Having such a structure in place, and making it clear to all supervisors that they are expected to abide by it, is your best defense against a wrongful-dismissal suit. It allows you to ensure that any employee fired because of inferior performance was treated fairly and in accordance with your company's policies.
The approach is simple; to solicit a controlled behavioral response from Soldiers who failed to meet standards and teach the how and why along the way. This is designed to be corrective in nature. Get the Soldier back on track before they are on the road out the gate. Here is one of the most underutilized tools in discipline: documentation, documentation, documentation. If something is important enough for you to think or worry about, then it is important enough to document. If you don't, it never happened in the eyes of any adjudicating authority and it will be difficult to hold the member accountable if required later in the process.
According to AR 600-100 (Army Leadership), it highlights three simple steps which are necessary in process of progressive discipline. Prevention. Everything you do as a leader helps prevent problems from occurring (walk the walk). Correction. Actions taken to address those who violate standards, but are not deserving of formal punishment (clarifying expectations, letting them know you are disappointed, etc.). Punishment (Rehabilitative tools). Punitive measures against those who repeatedly or grievously violate standards. Progressive discipline starts your first day of supervision and you can't soft shoe your expectations. Look them in the eye and explain consequences for not meeting your expectations. Finally, sit down and think out your initial feedback, periodic feedbacks and mid-term feedbacks. Take every opportunity to mentor. Be what you want your troops to be and be consistent with your efforts. Understand that they are always watching. In the Military, disciplinary actions fall into two categories: informal disciplinary actions (oral admonishments and written warnings) and formal disciplinary actions (letters of reprimand, suspensions, involuntary reductions in grade or pay, and removal). Similarly, employee conduct requiring discipline falls into two categories: behavioral offenses for which progressive discipline aimed at correcting the behavior is appropriate and offenses relating to violation of regulations or laws for which punitive sanctions are required. Disciplinary action should be taken for the purpose of either correcting offending employee behavior and problem situations or for...