Upcoming Events

  1. 25 Under 25 Awards Dinner & Gala

    February 23 @ 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
  2. INTEGRATE: Employee well-being workshop

    February 28 @ 7:30 am - 9:30 am
  3. Q1 BIG Breakfast

    March 14 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am
How Do I Properly Counsel and Discipline Employees?

How Do I Properly Counsel and Discipline Employees?


You might talk and complain at length to your second in command, your spouse, or even your mentor, but actually having a conversation with a failing employee is tough.

You know you aren’t helping anything if you allow an employee to fail without providing feedback.  Candor is always necessary, but so is tact. Knowing employment regulations and being consistent are also important.

We generally suggest these steps:

  1. Have a conversation with the employee. And we mean a REAL conversation. You need to be clear. Don’t sugar-coat to the point no one understands the problem.
  2. Provide support. If the employee has questions after your conversation, answer them or direct the employee to someone who can.
  3. Develop a written improvement plan. If you’ve tackled 1 and 2 with no improvement, then go on record stating the person’s employment is in jeopardy because improvement hasn’t been noted. Consider professional help with this if you’re unfamiliar with labor and employment laws.
  4. Give the employee time to improve. Don’t just issue the improvement plan and terminate employment the next day. But you also don’t have to wait several months if nothing changes.

Follow these steps and be brave enough to have the upfront conversation. You do need to be consistent. No employee can be allowed to skate by while you hold others accountable. Avoiding the problem can bring down your team, your culture and even your company.

When you have a personnel issue, you need a professional answer right away. The HR Help Desk is ready 24/7 to answer your personnel questions.

Give us a call at (855) 474-2836 to find out how to get real-time solutions and guidance for your HR challenges.

Belinda Waggoner

Written by

Belinda Waggoner is president of People People, which provides HR services to small and midsized businesses. (913) 940-5391 // belinda@peoplepeopleus.com // www.peoplepeopleus.com

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