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Help for small firms

Managing discipline - Investigation to possible dismissal: A guide

Be prepared should things go wrong

Managing discipline - in other words, unacceptable behaviour and poor performance - is not something you really want to think about in the early days of taking on staff.

However, you need to be prepared should things not go to plan.

Often, a quiet word early from a manager is enough to sort out a problem over an employee's conduct or performance.

But, if that doesn't work, you need to take action and:

  • comply with the law
  • understand the basics for handling discipline
  • manage a problem over conduct or under-performance from investigating it through to, if necessary, dismissal.

This tool is aimed at small firms, and line and team managers in larger organisations.

Discipline can be about conduct issues or performance issues, and sometimes both.

Conduct issues include insubordination, negligence, using illegal practices, falsifying records, theft, bullying, dangerous behaviour, fighting or hostile behaviour, poor attendance record and/or poor time-keeping.

Performance issues include failing to meet work targets, inadequate quantity of work, missing work deadlines, inaccurate work, wasting work materials, poor customer service, failure or refusal to follow instructions and/or an unwillingness to take responsibility.