Commonly Asked Questions
and Practical Answers
to Tricky Employee
In this chapter are sample responses to the most common questions asked by managers when implementing this system of progressive discipline. These responses will help you to better understand important issues that surface in typical progressive disciplinary or discharge meetings.
Now that we’ve dissected the various elements of our write-up model, how do I best deliver my message to the employee when conducting a face-to-face meeting?
There are a few simple rules to follow.
First, when meeting with your employee, explain the nature of the problem as you see it, and then ask the employee for feedback. Unless you give workers a verbal recounting of your perception of the events, you won’t know if you’ve missed any extenuating circumstances.
More important, by bringing someone into your office who has already been “judged,” so to speak, you make that person feel that she has already been tried and found guilty. That will cut off open communication right from the start of the dialogue, so always talk before you address anything on paper.
Second, you may already have prepared a written performance correction before the meeting begins, or you may opt to wait until after the meeting is concluded to prepare the document. That’s your choice. In the first case, keep the paperwork concealed until your suspicions are confirmed. Once you are confident that your write-up is an accurate reflection of your version of the events, pull it out to show the employee.
On the other hand, if you wait until after your meeting to compose the write-up, invite the employee back into your office to review what you’ve written. Don’t make a blind delivery where you simply place it on the employee’s desk or e-mail it. That will appear cold and heartless, and no one should have such a serious document handled so inconsiderately.
Third, and most significant, read your disciplinary write-up aloud to the employee before handing it to her. When managers and supervisors are first introduced to this system