Disciplining Employees


Leadership Tip of the Month by Ron Jasniowski

Disciplining Employees Who Exhibit Performance or Behavior Problems and RESTORING Them

Why do employees misbehave/underperform in the workplace, when they know better? Once we know why, we are better able to implement employee discipline.


People do what they feel is in their best interest (even if others around them clearly see their behavior is self-destructive). This answers why some people perform poorly and reveals part of the solution.


So, how do we get employees who deliberately misbehave/underperform to change? While that can be difficult, it is being done. Character-Based Correction is one of the best ways to get lasting change. For major infractions and repeated violations, use the follow steps:

  • Act the day you hear of the incident. Time minimizes the offense to both the offender and the manager.

  • Don’t begin correction with praise. This sends mixed signals and causes employees to dread future appreciation. But it’s good to end with some words of hope.

  • Prepare your heart by remembering the goal is long-term restoration and not to vent your frustration.

  • Explain and encourage the practice of a positive character trait. Such as discretion for employees who verbalize a bad attitude. Thoroughness for employees with poor quality issues. Punctuality for employees who are tardy too often. Most people want to please their manager. It is the manager's responsibility to make sure each employee has a clear understanding of what good performance is.

  • With a spirit of caring, convince them poor performance is not in their best interest and that correction is in their best interest. This is key for lasting change! Long-term change will not take place without this.

  • Administer appropriate consequences. If employees repeatedly violate policies, it's because you let them.

  • Finally, restore the relationship. At this point there may be some risk of severing the relationship. If you notice the employee correcting his/her behavior, express your appreciation for it. Recognition for doing something right may be all it takes to get that employee to buy in to lasting change for the rest of their life!

Because employee discipline isn’t pleasant for either party, some managers prefer to ignore it. But once correction takes effect, both parties can take pride in the results!


"Nothing has a greater impact on success or failure than the outward expression of inner character."  Ron Jasniowski, Copyright 2006

These are several highlights from a 10-step module on character-based correction in half-day and one-day workshops about "Character-Based Leadership Skills." In those seminars, I do not advocate keeping unteachable people on the payroll, but I do strongly encourage supervisors to not be so quick to terminate employees and to focus on restoring them.


Future issues will provide more details on how you can reach the next level of leadership success.


You may want to print this and discuss employee discipline at your next leadership team meeting.


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Improve Your Next Leadership Retreat!

Ron Jasniowski specializes in training managers and supervisors at in-house training workshops and at leadership retreats around the country about character-based leadership skills. This helps managers develop the untapped potential in employees. Learn more from the services page or con.tact us for more information and a quote.


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Whatever you call it: Employee Discipline, Disciplining Employees, Correcting Performance Problems, Poor Employee Conduct, Employee Problems, Employee Correction, Correcting Employee Behavior, Correcting Employee Performance Problems, Employee Misconduct, Poor Employee Behavior or Restoring Employees, it's not easy. But, it is an opportunity to turn a problem into an achievement!








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