“I have begun enforcing disciplinary measures on an employee due to her lateness and absenteeism. I know the employee is telling ‘her side of the story’ to anyone who will listen. How can I make my small team aware of this appropriately?”
My advice would be not to make your team aware of another employee’s discipline plan and/or issues, despite how tempted you might be to defend yourself. When dealing with employee discipline, it is very important that you stay focused on your role as a manager and not get sidetracked by gossip that may be circulating among your team. Remember, how you handle this situation is being watched by the rest of the team.
Here are three guidelines:
- Meet with the disciplined employee privately and review expected behavior, as it relates to the job and her performance. It is important that you give very specific performance expectations and a specific timeframe for making changes.
- Make your manager and the Human Resources Department aware of the situation. Be crystal clear on what the disciplinary steps are for your organization. For your own protection, document everything.
- Gently confront the employee with what you are hearing and let her know that her comments need to stop. Give her a strong message that this behavior is un-acceptable and distracting to the team. Focus on expectations — be clear on what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. As a manager, your role is to coach this employee and guide her.
- Review performance expectations with the entire team (including the disciplined employee) as well. Perhaps it is time to give them a pep talk and reinforce positive behavior.
Management Success Tip:
It may be time to let this employee go. But first consult again with your manager and human resources to make sure they are on board with it. Then follow the proper procedure. Hopefully the team will see you as manager who has corrected an unacceptable situation that was impacting the performance of the team. That is the strongest message that you can give to them.
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- Copyright © 2012 Marcia Zidle business and leadership coach