Firing an employee risks litigation and other expenses and brings unpleasantness for all involved. But even though you may want to avoid swinging the axe, it does not mean you should allow problems to fester and drag down morale and productivity. It’s best to deal with problems as soon as they arise and to take disciplinary actions to correct them. Problem employees can be rehabilitated if:
1. Expectations are clear from the start.
2. Communication is strong.
3. Discipline is taken when required.
Create a disciplinary policySet up a structured policy for employee discipline. Include the various techniques to be used, how they will be documented and who will perform disciplinary actions.
Practice progressive disciplineExperts recommend a progressive disciplinary process, beginning with oral warnings and proceeding to written warnings, coaching/counseling, suspensions and ultimately termination if necessary. If it's time for a written warning, make sure you couple it with coaching and work out an improvement plan while you make it clear that failure to comply will lead to suspension or termination.
SuspensionIf your employee's actions do not improve, you can suspend the employee without pay for a designated period of time. This is typically the last step in the progressive disciplinary process before termination.
Document all disciplinary actionsIt's imperative that you keep records of all disciplinary actions, especially if you end up terminating the employee. Keeping records can also help you dole out disciplinary actions fairly and objectively, using your past actions as a guide when similar situations arise.
The job should be clearWriting or revising the job description at the time of hiring and when jobs shift or change is essential to being able to enforce requirements, duties, and expectations.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can also get job description writing software at www.biztrain.com.