Documenting Employee Discipline

Updated: Feb 12, 2020

By: Derek Donaldson, HR Supervisor

What’s the old real estate quote? Location, Location, Location. Well, in managing your human resources, the three words that can support a termination decision are: Documentation, Documentation, Documentation. Despite its importance, many organizations and supervisors fail to document discipline or do not document correctly, leaving your company exposed to liabilities.

Performance management, in regard to compliance, includes things like performance documentation, performance evaluations, progressive discipline, and termination. Managing your risk in this area includes providing your employees with clear expectations and standards of performance and enforcing policies and employee expectations consistently and fairly. You should provide timely, direct, and honest feedback to your employees on a regular basis.

Documenting employee discipline is a difficult task for managers, supervisors, and even Human Resource professionals. Why? Because of the following:

  • Nobody likes confrontation

  • The documentation process may be too cumbersome or time consuming

  • They’ve never been properly trained in documenting employee behavior or performance, or

  • Some companies do not even have a policy regarding discipline

Donnelly-Boland can help to develop a progressive discipline policy and help you implement that policy. We can review or revise the policy and then help your supervisors to understand how to properly utilize the process to recognize, document, and communicate disciplinary issues.

Our HR professionals will help you:

  • Understand what you must document

  • Create disciplinary documentation that will stand up in court or other legal proceedings, such as unemployment hearings

  • Create a documentation culture in your organization

  • Understand the importance of communicating the process to the employee

If the discipline process is outdated or if it is not enforced consistently, you could find yourself facing a myriad of employment related lawsuits or even just the threat of being sued and needing to defend, which will cost you money. Proper documentation and communication can not only help reduce the possibility of lawsuits, but it can also reduce your unemployment claim losses.

Through the use of Donnelly-Boland, our team of HR professionals can help shield you from common mistakes employers make when it comes to employee discipline. Companies should strive for a policy everyone in the organization knows and understands, and is compliant with all the necessary regulations. Let Donnelly-Boland's knowledge, experience, and team of professionals help you with developing or refining your discipline process, or any of dozens of other HR related topics that you face, knowingly or unknowingly, every day.

What you don’t know CAN hurt you. Reach out to one of our professionals to start working together to help protect your business.

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