Discipline & Termination

Cut off gossip as soon as it starts

February 26, 2020
It’s easy to get caught in gossip, even for managers. You know you should it, but how should you do it? Lori Palatnik and Bob Burg, authors of Gossip, offer three useful options.

Should we question a worker we suspect is gaming our reward system?

February 13, 2020
Q. We encourage our retail staff to go above and beyond their duties to please and impress our customers. To that end, we reward them gift cards to various restaurants each time a customer comes to our service desk to compliment one of our employees. One of our workers has landed several of these rewards, but I have a suspicion that the “customers” are his friends, and he’s gaming our motivational system. Should I come right out and ask him?

Misconduct? Keep your cool

January 23, 2020
You need to act when employees break company rules or fail at their tasks, but you should never become abusive or slanderous. Here are a few suggestions for treating a bad situation as positively as possible.

Don’t select your layoffs based on “broken English”

January 10, 2020
When parking company LAZ converted to an automated payment system in a parking complex in Baltimore, management terminated three employees: two Moroccans and one Ethiopian.

7 things not to say when firing

January 2, 2020
It’s inevitable: At some point in your career, you are going to have to fire someone, and it’s up to you to lead the termination meeting. When you do, make the situation less horrible for both of you by avoiding the following seven phrases.

Before you discipline …

October 14, 2019
Whether you’re giving an oral warning to a probationary worker or issuing a final warning to a veteran employee who is on thin ice, the concept of due process applies. The best way to meet this requirement is through proper planning before the discipline interview.

Worker consistently tardy: What can I do?

July 12, 2019
Q. I have an employee who’s chronically late, usually 5 to 10 minutes. When I talk to her about it, she improves for 2 to 3 weeks, but then she slides back. I’ve even tried to dock her pay for each 15-minute increment she misses, but that didn’t work. I don’t want to keep nagging her. Any ideas?

Let’s all play nice! Prevent and manage bullying in the workplace

April 21, 2019
Here are a few simple ways to prevent and manage workplace bullying—for the sake of your staff, and your own ability to be an influential manager.

‘Sick again?!’ How to cut down absenteeism

January 20, 2019
If you have employees with chronic attendance problems, you can’t rely on company policy to make things easier. Even if you follow the rules and mete out punishment fairly, it’ll still drain your energy and divert you from more important matters. Minimize the problem from the outset. By educating, tracking and warning people, you’ll reinforce the need for everyone to show up.

Handling off-duty misconduct

November 23, 2018
Consider this scenario: One of your employees was arrested and charged with assault in a night club ruckus over the weekend. This is the same person who started a fight in your company’s parking lot two years ago. He shows up for work Monday morning, business as usual. What now?