Image by Niek Verlaan from Pixabay


If you’ve got serious concerns regarding a person in your organization, of course, you should investigate the issue.

With the employee in-question, you should conduct an investigatory interview and if appropriate conduct a disciplinary meeting.

The investigatory interview establishes what occurred. The disciplinary meeting is initiated to determine what to do about the employee.

Recommendations for fairness in a disciplinary meeting:

1. Investigate the situation.

2. Set the expectations so everyone knows it’s a confidential matter.

3. Give the employee advance notice to expect a disciplinary action invitation letter. Two days notice will suffice.

4. Invite the employee in writing about the date and time, a statement of allegations, and the potential outcome.


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5. Prepare for the meeting. Review any documents and information about the allegations, and prepare a list of questions to ask the employee.

6. Convene the meeting with an opening of introductions, set the expectations about what is to occur. Your disciplinary meeting must have a clear structure.

7. After you adjourn the meeting, consider your outcome decision. Reconvene and confirm your decision in writing.

Remember the purpose of a disciplinary meeting is to review the evidence, learn the reasons for the problem, engage the employee, give the person an opportunity to own the behavior and arrive at solutions.


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Sample questions you can ask employees:

1. Your inconsistent attendance has been a disruption to the organization. In the past month, you have been late six times and have been absent three days. “How do you explain this?”

2. You’ve consistently had to be reminded to turn in your sales expense reports on time. “What is the problem?”

3. Today we’ve identified eight occasions in which you’ve been uncivil to your supervisor and coworkers. “What do you plan to do about it?”

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4. You appear to be disorganized, which has been discussed with you four times. Now, you are a week behind in processing the routine assignments. “What are you going to do about it?”

5. You have repeatedly refused overtime assignments and have left the building. This was a violation of a directive given by your supervisor. When you accepted the job, you were informed that overtime on short notice is a requirement when the company faces deadlines serving our customers. “Why do you refuse your supervisor’s directives?”

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

Guidelines to Meet FLSA Responsibilities for Remote Workers – As an employer, you have a myriad of responsibilities under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA ) for exempt and nonexempt workers who work at home.

Prevent Negativity, Gossip, Toxicity from Infecting Your Team – Your workplace can be damaged by difficult employees. You know what I mean – drama queens, gossipers and power grabbers. Here’s what to do.

‘Managing Out’ Strategy Often Beats Firing a Bad Employee – Managing out gives an employee the opportunity to improve behavior and performance. If not, managing out gives you the information you need on whether the person is going to improve.

Human Resources Tips – Checklist to Prevent Legal Issues – To be successful in management or as a human resources professional, you know the importance of staying current in possible legal issues.

Avoid HR Documentation Mistakes that Cause Legal Issues – You must anticipate possible adverse ramifications – how a jury or judge even months later would view your paperwork if the situation becomes a legal issue. Here’s how.

“If you run a business, if you are responsible for a lot of people, you come to grips with the reality that you have to have discipline. You have to protect the enterprise in order to take care of the employees. So, therefore, you can’t be wasteful. You can’t squander things, or you jeopardize other people.”

-Steve Wynn


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.