Employee discipline and the value of proper documentation
Even in the most unified and engaged workplace, there is always going to be the occasional incident that requires disciplinary action.
Whether it is an otherwise valuable employee who has made an error of judgement, or a long-term bad apple who needs some special attention, taking the proper disciplinary measures is critical to getting things back on track and preventing further disruptions.
According to the NSW Business Chamber, employers have a number of disciplinary options that may prove adequate when full termination is not justified. These include counselling, warnings, suspensions, and fines or withholding of pay.
Which option applies to your organisation's situation will depend on the nature of the offence and the history of the employee at the centre of the dispute.
Regardless of which route you choose to take, one thing is for certain – properly documenting and recording the incident is an essential part of ensuring compliance with workplace laws is upheld, and that future events of this nature are avoided wherever possible.
Fortunately, modern Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) have made this process easier than ever before, by ensuring that authorised users are able to quickly and easily record the details of any disciplinary action in a streamlined and accessible database.
Keeping this information on hand ensures that an accurate and detailed record of events is available should either party take legal action down the line.
Furthermore, having an historical record of disciplinary incidents can allow your organisation to make informed decisions about the value of an individual employee, and ensure you can fully justify any necessary terminations should it come to that.
The NSW government's Industrial Relations website notes that "if an employer is facing a situation where an employee may be dismissed, it is essential that they can document and substantiate their actions", and this is where the value of HRIS software truly becomes apparent.
Accurately recording and documenting any and all incidents of employee discipline will help ensure that your business is not only protected from a legal point of view, but also that it is making consistent and accurate decisions that reflect the best outcome for employer and employee alike.