Effective management views discipline as a process by which it can help staff to learn acceptable work standards and behaviour, including the organization’s rules and policies. Discipline in the workplace should not be viewed as a means of punishment.
To ensure that everybody understand the rules and standards within the workplace, the organization should provide clear guidelines. It should:
- Establish written rules, standards and policies within a handbook or procedures manual
- Make this information readily available to all staff
Supervisory staffs within the organization have a responsibility to:
- Keep informed about rules, standards and policies
- Ensure all staff members have a copy of or access to a handbook or procedures manual
- Communicate standards of conduct and work performance to staff
- Be prepared to answer question in this regard
- Use effective standardized disciplinary techniques such as:
- Discussions-determining possible causes of problems
- Offering appropriate assistance
- Providing corrective feedback to remedy the situation
- Giving warnings
Supervisory staff should always keep a record of steps taken in a disciplinary matter. If they feel further action is needed, they should refer the matter to the appropriate authority within management.
To avoid disciplinary action, employees should:
- Learn about the code of conduct relevant to the organization
- Keep up-to-date with written instructional and follow directions
- Demonstrate competent performance when undertaking responsibilities
- Ask questions and seek additional information if required
Grounds for disciplinary action
The two main grounds for disciplinary action against Public Service employees are misconduct and committing a criminal offence.
This is failure on the part of an employee to fulfil his or her duties. Employees have the right to ask an employer what the expectations of them are.
Misconduct can happen as a result of:
- Not complying with direction or the Act , or Public Service regulations
- Not being efficient and competent
- Being negligent or careless
- Showing favouritism, discrimination or patronage which are all in breach of the Act
- Improper conduct which either affects the way in which responsibilities are performed or “brings the service into disrepute”
- Providing information at the time of appointment which was incorrect or misleading
It is criminal offence is proven and is relevant to the officer’s employment within the service, disciplinary action may be take.