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A Proactive Approach to Employee Discipline

In order to define discipline in the workplace, and how to deal with it, companies must first construct an effective discipline program. Clear expectations regarding discipline should be communicated to employees during onboarding. This way, employees are not blindsided by any disciplinary action taken against them. This benefits both the company and the employee.

Documentation is crucial for HR professionals. Time and attendance software can help with that. Tracking points provides another layer of documentation when recording employee disciplinary issues. Employees can be reminded of how many points they have at any given time. When employees begin to accumulate points, managers can be proactive in addressing individual issues before they become a larger problem. Here are four ways that tracking points can help deal with discipline in the workplace.

Employees can view their points

Time and attendance software makes it possible for supervisors to create point occurrences. Point occurrences can be customized to model a company’s policies and procedures within its employee handbook. Once each occurrence is created, point values are assigned to each occurrence. For instance, if a company is struggling with no-call/no-shows, then they could create a category for this occurrence. A point value is then assigned to the category by a supervisor.

An employee that is assigned points can view their point totals on their own. Time and attendance software with mobile apps allows employees to view their point totals on their computers, as well as their phones. This way, no matter where they are, they are able to view their points, each occurrence, and even an expiration date for the occurrences. Below are examples of tracking points with time and attendance software:

Supervisor's view of employees' points
Employee's view of their own points

Creating consistent and fair discipline

Allowing employees to view their points creates an objective and transparent process for evaluating workplace discipline. By doing this, employees know that they are being disciplined in a consistent manner for their actions. Fair discipline that is consistently enforced helps prevent successful claims of discrimination.

When an employee accumulates a certain number of points, a manager can approach the employee with a verbal or written warning. The warning should come as no surprise to the employee since they are able to view their own points. Instead, it should be seen as a progressive step toward dealing with the issue at hand.

Presenting the data

Time and attendance solutions can track points and provide data to back up each occurrence. Points can be assigned for any occurrence in the workplace, including attendance issues. In the case of a no-call/no-show, a supervisor could use their time and attendance software to show that the employee did not clock in at all that day. While time and attendance software isn’t meant to replace HR documentation, it provides supplemental data as an extra form of documentation.

Proactively addressing discipline

Discipline in the workplace, with a few exceptions, shouldn’t be seen as an end result, but rather a work in progress. Improving employee performance is mutually beneficial to both the company and the employee. Setting an expiration date on point occurrences allows employees to learn from their mistakes, rather than constantly being reminded of every mess-up they have accrued.

Dealing with discipline in the workplace can be a daunting task, especially when left unattended for too long. Tracking points with time and attendance software allows supervisors to address issues before they get out of hand.