Disciplinary Interview

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					The Disciplinary Interview
It is essential that standards and discipline are maintained within an office environment. From time
to time, it will be necessary to conduct a disciplinary interview. Occasionally, that disciplinary
interview will be part of the process of dismissal. Because of employment legislation, the disciplinary
procedure should:

    •   be in writing
    •   specify to whom it applies
    •   provide for matters to be dealt with quickly
    •   indicate the disciplinary actions that may be taken
    •   specify the levels of management who have the authority to take disciplinary action
    •   provide for individuals to be informed of complaints against them
    •   give individuals the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative or a fellow
        employee of their choice
    •   ensure that, except for gross misconduct, no employees are dismissed for a first breach of
    •   ensure that disciplinary action is not taken until the case has been carefully investigated
    •   ensure that individuals are given an explanation of any penalty imposed
    •   provide a right of appeal and specify the procedure to be followed

Conducting the interview

A disciplinary interview is all about the future and not a moan about the past. It must never be
conducted in the heat of the moment.

Before the interview
• Take time to cool down
• Establish the gap between real and expected performance:
   — Check the facts about the individual's performance
   — Check the required performance
   — Establish the discrepancy
• Warn the disciplinee

At the interview
• Explain the gap and the required performance, and show where the disciplinee's performance
    falls short.
• Explore the reasons for the gap:
    — Ask why the disciplinee has behaved as he did
    — Listen to the reply
    — Use open-ended questions such as who?, what?, why?, how?, where?, when?
    — Do not accept generalisations for answers
    — Do not argue
    — Be firm
    — Be fair
• Consider the following:
    — Is the problem just a way of getting attention?
    — Does the person need training or help?
    — Is there a personal cause?
    — Are the rules wrong?
    — Is conflict or personality clash the real cause?
    — Have the organisation's requirements been communicated properly in the first instance?
    — Is this really a matter for discipline?
•    Eliminate the gap:
    — Agree what is wrong
    — Set realistic new targets
    — Fix review date

After the interview
• Write a report

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