Disciplinaries – Should I? Shouldn’t I?

The Helens

The Helens

You have an employee who has always performed well. You like them. They’ve been with the business for years. 

But recently they just don’t appear to be themselves.  Their work standards are slipping. They’re making mistakes. They’re turning up to work late. They’re calling in sick.  

You’ve tried to ignore things, but it’s come to the point that their peers – and possibly your clients – have started to grumble about their performance. 

What do you do? 

Well, for starters, do something. Ignoring these types of early warning signs can be very costly (in terms of money and most definitely time). 

In these circumstances, we’d advise having an informal disciplinary meeting (assuming this process is included in your Disciplinary and Performance Management Policy).   

For informal disciplinary meetings, the employee doesn’t need to be given notice or have a representative with them. 

These meetings do not form part of your formal disciplinary process and no sanction will be issued – it’s really important your employee understands this.  

During the meeting make sure you’re clear, concise and provide recent evidence to support your concerns. 

Listen to their response. Decide if their reasons explain the fall in their performance. Are issues outside of work having an impact on their performance? Or are the issues related? What responsibility do you have to assist in resolving the issues to ensure they meet their contractual obligations? 

At the end of the meeting, ensure you agree on clear objectives and set a time frame for improvement (a ‘review period’). 

Explain that if their performance doesn’t improve to the required standard you may initiate formal disciplinary proceedings. 

Make sure you meet with them regularly during the review period to discuss any progress made or concerns you have. Any decision made at the end of the review period shouldn’t come as a surprise to them.  

Call us if you’d like to know more – or need us to review your existing disciplinary policy! 


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