General Guidelines in Administering Discipline in HRM:
The objective of the disciplinary action is to correct an employee’s undesirable behavior, not to deal out punishment. While punishment may be a necessary means to that end, one should never lose sight of the eventual objective. Employee discipline directly affects the organization success. If the problem is not solved in time, it may create a problem even in the existence of the organization. The best way is not to let the problem be aroused.
However, if it arises, then it has to be solved or controlled in time. To eradicate the disciplinary problems, many managers believe in punishment and penalty. But to minimize or solve the problems, it is appropriate to consider the following guidelines;
Should be corrective:
Main objectives of disciplinary action must be to reduce the problem and improve the situation. While taking disciplinary actions, it must be guaranteed that employee’s negative behavior and activities will be improved and not repeated in the future. For this, instead of punishing employees, they must be motivated to improve their attitude and behavior. Based on the seriousness of the problem, disciplinary action has to be taken. Before taking final actions against the indiscipline, employees must get the chance for improvement. If it is necessary to take action, it must be carried out justifiably and wisely in an acceptable way. So, disciplinary actions should be corrective.
Should be progressive:
Disciplinary action must be progressive. Disciplinary action must be taken step by step. First of all, they must be informed regarding their indiscipline orally. If this doesn’t improve things, then written warning followed by suspension and demotion must be taken. And if these actions also do not work then, as a final action, dismissal can be done. Nature of the problem must be considered while taking action. Every problem must not be treated from a single view. Simple action for a minor problem and serious action for the complex or major problem must be applied. If the disciplinary action impacts negatively it does not improve the attitude of employees. Instead, this may worsen the attitude of other employees also.
Should be immediate:
Disciplinary related action must be taken immediately. If these problems are taken for granted or actions are delayed, they repeat it frequently and behave more abnormally. If actions are taken promptly, they become alert to not repeating it. So, one should not be slow to initiate disciplinary action.
Should be unbiased:
Disciplinary actions must be fair, justifiable and wise. Same actions must be taken for the same problem regardless of the employee’s position, nearness and dearness as well as their influence in the management. If employees feel being discriminated in disciplinary actions, they may demonstrate negative attitude and behavior. Instead of improving, it will worsen the organizational situation. Thus, instead of looking at the person, one has to understand the depth of the problem while taking disciplinary actions. Actions should be inspired by ‘hot stove approach’. Like the host stove that burns the hand of the person immediately regardless the level of the person, disciplinary action should have the same and immediate impact the employees equally.
Should be effective:
Disciplinary action must be effective. Actions taken just for the sake of action cannot change the negative attitude and behavior of the employees. A manager must show initiation because the action is the problem. Effectiveness must be assessed while initiating the disciplinary action. Assessing the effectiveness, it must be changed and improved. Employees must be pre-informed about the disciplinary action. Similarly, if action is taken against any problem to any person, it must be informed to all the employees within the organization.
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