Printable Employee Discipline Form

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Below is a free printable employee discipline form that I am sure will work great for issuing any type of employee discipline at your workplace. Although I know that a person’s first impulse is to issue a counseling, verbal warning, formal written warning, or termination when someone has blatantly not followed your rules, but ask yourself some questions before doing so.



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Before using the Printable Employee Discipline Form – Ask these questions

1.       Was the employee made aware of the work rule?

How do you know that the employee was aware of the work rule? Do you have a policy manual or something else that spells out the work rule? As an example, if you require anyone that smokes must be a certain distance from any customer or employee entrance so no one has to walk through the smoke.

2.       Was the employee trained to perform the task?

As an example, if the employee’s task is to retrieve items from a top shelf and they were trained to use a step ladder, but they used a nearby cardboard carton to stand on and smashed and ruined new merchandise.

3.       Was there anyone else involved?

Did they have anyone else that participated in the work rule violation? Using the smoke rule violation above, was there others participating in the violation that are being held accountable also?

4.       Have you treated everyone the same that has broken that work rule in the past?

One of the most common missteps that supervisors make when issuing discipline is letting some of the better performers break the same rule you are holding a lesser performer accountable for. This becomes especially important if they are in a protected class.

5.       Is the work rule reasonable?

Are you asking someone to do something that isn’t legal or isn’t ethical? As an example, you have a work rule that Christians are not permitted to pray in silence at the break table on their unpaid lunch break.

6.       Is the work rule written or just assumed?

As mentioned earlier, is the work rule written in a policy handbook, or posted somewhere. In addition, was the employee made aware of the work rule by signing for the employee policy handbook.

Using the Printable Employee Discipline Form

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One of the most common problems I’ve seen in my half a century of being in management, is a supervisor that has overlooked a lot of issues a poor employee has done until they just can’t take it anymore. Then they want to terminate the employee for a rather minor infraction. The supervisor comes to me and goes on and on about how bad the employee is until I asked them why didn’t they do something before. They almost always tell me that thought the employee would get better, but they haven’t. Well, if you haven’t helped the employee understand they were doing something wrong, by using an established discipline process, then what did you expect? The supervisor turns and walks away a little embarrassed.  I will stop them and remind them what they need to do to help the employee improve. After all, the objective of the discipline process is to improve their behavior.

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