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Why Is Workplace Discipline Important?
Successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common. They are disciplined. These professionals plan their workflow, stick to their schedule and avoid distractions. They do not mind working extra hours as long as it serves their purpose. Discipline keeps them productive, increasing their chances of success in life and business.
This skill is also essential in the workplace. Disciplined employees are more likely to meet expectations, follow the rules and have good work relationships with their colleagues and supervisors. Several approaches exist to maintain discipline in HRM, or human resources management, including progressive and positive discipline. The former involves using a gradual approach to correct an employee’s behavior, while the latter aims to change negative behaviors into positive ones through open communication without punishment.
Employers who enforce progressive discipline policies have a power-based relationship with their staff. For example, employees who fail their responsibilities or display negative behaviors may receive verbal and written warnings and can be punished for their mistakes. Positive discipline, by comparison, helps build trust between managers and their subordinates. This approach focuses on solving the problem and helping employees understand how it affects the organization.
Common issues related to Employee Discipline
Non disciplinary behavior by employees can disturb the decorum of the entire workplace. It can damage the reputation of the organization and adversely affect its profitability and growth.
- Providing wrong information or hiding factual personal data during recruitment
- Non-compliance with the terms of employment contract, for example an employee takes up additional job while still working in your organization.
- Violation of company policies, rules & regulations
- Non-adherence to workplace safety instructions
- Indulgence in theft and fraud in the company
- Absconding without proper resignation
- False medical, travel and expense claims
- Behavioral issues
- Exhibiting misconduct towards manager, leadership and co-workers
- Reporting late to work or team meetings
- Frequent leave without intimation and approvals
- Indulging in political activities and anti-social activities
- Not completing work assignments on time or repeatedly not meeting goals
- Refusal to attend training programs
- Not marking attendance
- Wasting time on social media and other web-sites that are not related to work
- Bullying other colleagues
BE A GOOD LEADER
As the head of the business, it’s your responsibility to act as a leader for the rest of your workforce. Many people are afraid to act as the leader because they think that it’s better to let the workforce organize themselves. But most employees prefer to have someone who leads the business.
It’s not about shouting at people and telling them what to do. It’s more about encouragement and helping people to reach their full potential. You can offer guidance when people are not sure what the best approach should be.
A leader is the person who pulls everyone in the same direction and resolves disputes calmly.
Sometimes, ill discipline is more to do with people not focusing on the job in hand and instead being distracted. You should remove things from the office that might act as potential distractions for employees.
These distractions could be to do with how the office is laid out. Or it could be more to do with the technology that they’re using. If you ask me, it’s a good idea to block social media sites in the workplace because these can act as major distractions for people.
When people are too busy on social media sites, they don’t do the work that you want them to do. Banning sites might seem harsh, but it might be necessary.
MAKE THE OFFICE A PLEASANT PLACE TO WORK
Another thing you can do is improve the workplace. The office should not be somewhere that people hate being each day. You want your employees to walk into the office looking forward to what the day has to offer them.
If they’re walking in and feeling like they would rather be anywhere else, you will find it hard to create a disciplined and productive office. So, brighten up the office and change the way in which it operates.
You could make it more collaborative so that working for the business is a bit more fun that it was before. It’s a relatively small change, but it could make the office a much nicer place to be for your employees.
THINK ABOUT THE AGE OF THE WORKFORCE
This is something that most business owners don’t even think about. But having a young workforce means that you have to approach the issue differently than if the workforce was older. You need to tailor your approach to your staff depending on what they respond best to.
Think about their age and personalities and personalize your approach to office discipline. Some people respond better to gentle encouragement and a relaxed approach. And other people need a firmer approach if you want them to behave in a way that you see as appropriate for your workplace. A uniform approach to discipline is not always the best option to go ahead in organizational culture .
MAKE THE RULES CLEAR
If you want your employees to follow the rules, they need to know exactly what those rules are. You can’t expect them to follow the rules if you haven’t made it clear what they are. So, you need to decide what the rules are to begin with. This is not something that you should spend too long doing. Having fewer precise rules is better than having a million rules that no one is going to bother to read.
The company rules should ideally fit on one side of paper. If you have easy access to commercial laminating machines you could print and produce copies of the rules. They can then be clearly displayed in the office so everyone can see them
PUT A THREE STRIKES RULE IN PLACE
There have to be some real consequences for people who refuse to play by the rules in your office.
It makes no sense to have rules in place if nothing actually happens when someone breaks those rules, does it? The best thing to do is put in place a three strikes rule. This would mean that an employee would be given a number of warnings before they were finally fired for poor discipline.
Having this kind of procedure in place will make it clear to everyone what the limits are. People will think twice about doing things that cause disruption if they know that there will be consequences of their actions.
GIVE PEOPLE THE SPACE TO WORK
As a boss, you don’t want to be breathing down the neck of your employees all day long. If they feel like they’re under pressure to do something, they will be much less likely to do it well. That’s why it’s so important to give employees the space they need to work in their own way.
No two people are the same and they need to be given the space to develop an approach to their work that they are comfortable with. If you want to get the most from employees, you need to allow them this kind of independence.
PRIORITIES COMMUNICATION WITH EMPLOYEES
You can only create a disciplined office if you’re prepared to keep the lines of communication with employees open. Employees should feel like they’re able to communicate with you and air their concerns as they arise.
This kind of communicative culture is a very healthy thing to have, so don’t underestimate how important it can be. It could turn out to be one of the most important things about your entire business. But you, first of all need, to make it very clear to everyone that you’re willing to listen to them when they have something important to say. The communication needs to be two-way as well.
“Strengthen the foundation of knowledge and develop yourself.”