Every manager worth their salt wants to take care of the people on their team. They want to see them succeed, grow, develop, and generally become better at their jobs. Not only will this help the company, but it also looks good on the manager if they’re seen as an effective leader and mentor. And there are few places where this comes into sharper relief than situations concerning employee discipline.
No one really wants to deal with these problems, but they are necessary, both for the health of the company and its workforce. For your managers, team leaders, and executives to become truly successful at guiding the business, they need to become professionals at dealing with a range of uncomfortable employee situations – including the dreaded termination talk.
This is why your company needs to partner with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Outsourced HR can increase employee discipline and help you grow as a leader in a prospering company. It’s time for your company to take advantage of these 6 key benefits.
In other words, your company needs a strong employee handbook. With this document in place, you can address all manner of concerns far in advance of anything actually occurring. This includes, but isn’t limited to:
Whether you need to update your current employee handbook or create one from scratch, a PEO can help you draft a document that protects your business and sets expectations for your workforce.
The contents of your employee handbook need to come from somewhere! It’s hard for you as a manager to to enforce and improve employee discipline if your company hasn’t created policies, rules, and regulations. There are plenty of available resources you can use to create a procedural skeleton, including those that come directly from your city, state, and national governments. Others will apply directly to your specific situation, depending on your line of business and the type of workforce you have.
Even then, we recommend working with a PEO to codify those policies and ensure they comply with all manner of employment law. Think of it this way – you’re probably not a legal expert, so it’s better to invest resources into policy creation now before you spend more money later defending the company from legal action.
Once you have your handbook in place, there will come a time when you must actually enforce what’s inside. Which means it must detail everything that should and shouldn’t happen in clear detail – including the chain of events that occurs when an employee does break the terms of the handbook.
While HR can help you ensure that policies are followed and upheld, you’re the person who must lead the people on your team – especially when something goes wrong. To effectively manage your employees in a way that empowers them to do the right thing while also upholding the social contract that is the employee handbook, your company must train its management and leadership in the nuances of employee relations.
That being said, while you should have a codified set of rules for your employees, you should also approach each potential disciplinary action as its own situation. What works for one employee or situation won’t work for another, no matter how straightforward the policy might seem. Modern human resources experts typically rely on some version of “Progressive Discipline,” wherein the boss adheres to a general series of steps that can be modified to a specific employee or scenario.
The means of discipline your company decides to use is up to you (within the bounds of the law), but this is exactly where a PEO comes in handy, both in terms of the implementation and execution of disciplinary policy.
With a full-service PEO, all aspects of HR administration are handled from start to finish, including the finer details of employee discipline. Upon hiring the company, they will audit your processes and records to determine where the gaps are in your company’s systems. They can then determine how those issues can be addressed as quickly and effectively as possible.
As we’ve mentioned, your company’s employee handbook and disciplinary policies must adhere to the labor laws for your state and region. Doing so decreases your liability if something goes wrong while increasing your security from untoward legal action. Since most companies aren’t experts in the law, hiring a PEO to analyze your methods of employee discipline will ensure everything is above-board and without reproach.
This is the big one. Everything leads up to this. No one enjoys firing an employee, but the efficacy and spirit of your entire team depends on leadership knowing when to terminate someone who isn’t pulling their weight.
Even if your company operates in an “at-will” state like Texas, that doesn’t mean you can just fire someone without purpose or recourse. You must ensure that you’ve followed both the spirit and the letter of every possible policy and procedure surrounding employee discipline, including giving a wayward employee every possible chance. This includes:
Only once you have all of the necessary evidence at hand can you proceed with the termination. Even then, it’s great to have a PEO on your side to both assemble the documentation and help the termination go as smoothly as possible for all parties involved.
As a leader in your business, you need to be clear, direct, and above-board with your workforce at all times, especially when it comes to employee discipline. Most of the time, you won’t have to worry about people misbehaving, but you will need to have policies in place for people who under-perform on their jobs. Helping these employees increase the quality and quantity of their work in a helpful and proactive manner that doesn’t involve termination is the true measure of improved employee discipline.
At G&A Partners, our team of HR professionals can help you avoid the little mistakes and errors in your company policies that can become larger problems. We’re a leading PEO with more than 20 years of experience helping companies of all shapes, sizes, and fields develop and implement HR policies that make a difference in their workforce.
Ready to learn how outsourced HR with G&A can help employee discipline at your company? Let’s talk!