How do Companies Discipline Employees?

Companies have many different ways of “disciplining” employees. First off, there is the reprimand. Second stage is the warning. Third stage is out the door you go.


That’s the formal way. Informally, there are a lot of corporate games that can be played to discipline a non-conforming employee. Giving them a bad assignment, removing “perks” like a nice office, transferring them to less favorable positions, or even cutting their rank, position and pay. Then there are the mind games. Isolation from other employees, constant “micromanaging” them, refusing to praise, but always criticizing, giving them impossible assignments, changing project requirements midstream, requiring them to work overtime or on weekends, or constant nagging are just a few of the subtle but effective ways to “punish” an employee.


Employers have to be very careful to deal with employees in an even handed, almost “clinical” fashion. There is a fine line between “punishment” and harassment. When does punishment become retribution?


Employers have failed if they have to resort to discipline. They have either hired the wrong people, or failed to motivate them to achieve what was expected. Unfortunately, many so called “managers” just don’t know how to manage. They think in terms of “punishment” instead of motivation.


Personality conflicts and poor leadership often lead to situations in which employees just don’t perform up to expectation. At that point, who is to blame? It’s usually a problem that could have been avoided.


At Certified Entrepreneurial Advisor we have a series of courses on leadership, human resources and management.

August 1, 2016

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