Discipline and Accountability in the Workforce - December 2022

Wed, Dec 07, 2022 at 8:00AM

Matt Savin, Safety Consultant, FRSA Self Insurer's Fund

Some of the most common problems in the workplace have some of the simplest solutions. Discipline and accountability are things we learned from our childhood that should be applied on a daily basis. At some point, a lack of discipline from superiors will begin to shift accountability from workers that are out of line, to the supervisors that are refusing to stop those actions. A disciplinary action plan is something that can easily mitigate the problems that could arise from these instances. The disciplinary action plan should be concise and consistent while being both beneficial to the company as well as to its employees. It should focus on being fair to all employees, while encouraging growth and safety. All employees should be asked to read and sign the document and be given a copy for their employee manual. There are several methods a company may choose to use, but there is no single blanket policy that will work for all companies in the roofing industry. The most common policies that are used and encouraged are progressive policies. These will offer a small dose of discipline at the beginning and may include termination at any point. It is completely up to the company to decide on the steps, but they should always encourage retraining of the safety policy or task that was not performed properly.

Types of Discipline

Verbal warning – a warning to the employee based on their misconduct. These should always be documented to show that the discipline policy was adhered to.

Written warning – this would be the same warning, though the employee would receive a copy for their records. The employee should sign the warning for the company’s records.

Written warning with retraining – this will be the same as above, followed by retraining the employee before they are allowed to return to work. This, as always, should be documented.

Suspension or pay decrease – if this action is taken, it should include an outline and incentive for the employee to return to their previous position or rate of pay. This should also include retraining the employee so that your expectations of them will be known.

Termination – the most difficult form of discipline that should only be used when absolutely necessary. There are times when an employee’s actions will warrant this from the beginning, which is why it should always be an option if the employee’s actions put their or other’s safety at risk. Consider including a key employee as a witness during this process. Read more.

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