Corrective Action Plan

Samples of disciplinary action and terminations.

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employee discipline corrective action

Disciplinary oversight; progressive discipline chain of command.

The HR manager and risk management; a lesson from Mayberry RFD.

By Darin Hanks

Would you agree with me that most front line supervisors were promoted into that position because they excelled at job-specific skills, not risk management? 

Emotionally charged supervisors should not have "fire-on-the-spot" authority.  Andy only let Barney have one bullet at a time, and he still had holes in his floor and ceiling from misfires. Take the Barney bullets out of the pockets of supervisors altogether by designating only one person or one group have the authority to approve corrective action including formal counseling documents and termination of employees.   For the sake of this lesson, we'll call that designated person the HR Manager.

  • A chain of command should be simple; ideally, from the supervisor who has the offending employee, to his/her supervisor, then to the HR Manager. 

  • If a supervisor thinks he or she has grounds for formal corrective action or terminating an employee, they should submit the necessary paperwork through the disciplinary chain of command.

  • The HR Manager should deliver a plan for supervisors in the event a high-risk situation arises where an employee needs to be immediately removed from duty pending disciplinary review.  We believe this policy is company specific depending on whether an employee is in the field or in an office complex, but a general suggestion would be to give supervisors the authority to send an employee to the HR Managers office, or home with orders to contact the HR Manager via telephone.  There are a few strong positions for these matters.  There are some who say not to give an employee an entire day to sulk and steam and plan while he or she waits to be called in for their side of the story.  The other camp says it is good to let emotions calm down for a day after a highly charged incident.  This is a good matter to discuss with your legal counsel and key staff.

  • In regards to the HR Manager.  An HR Manager must ALWAYS be objective and go through a thorough discovery process before deciding on a plan of action.  Even though you may have a chain of command, a chain of command can often carry a lot of emotional baggage associated with certain problem employees.  This baggage can come in the form of embellished incident reports. A good HR Manager will NEVER assume they are getting the whole truth and nothing but the truth from a reporting supervisor irregardless of the title/seniority of the reporting supervisor.

  • What lesson can an HR Manager learn from Andy of Mayberry? Andy never carried a gun, but he knew when to pick one up. And he knew when to tell Barney to load up.

  • Lastly, the "Barney Bullet" analogy may not be very popular with your management staff.  In other words, you may find yourself on the wrong end of progressive discipline if you begin referring to your managers as "Barney's"...so let's just keep that analogy here :)

Corrective / Disciplinary Templates

HRIT offers templates you can use as suggested in our tutorial.

Price:  $29.99

View a Sample

Includes Four (4) progressive discipline templates with two sample corrective reviews (One for job performance and one for absenteeism).

  • One template used for documenting verbals.

  • One template used for formal corrective action: re: job performance

  • One template used for formal corrective action: re: absenteeism

  • One template used for recommending that an employee be terminated.

  • Two sample corrective reviews for style and phrase examples.

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