Types Of Employee Discipline: Why Progressive Discipline Is Important

There are different types of employee discipline and there are many business owners who have employees, yet a good number of them are not sure of what to do when there is a need for discipline. Many times, the punishment meted out is not justified due to the nature of the offense. Here are several different types of employee discipline and the occasions in which they would be appropriate.

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What Are The Purposes of The Different Types of Employee Discipline

Verbal Warnings

This is when you kindly pull an employee to the side and let them know that they have committed and infraction that is inexcusable. After having several of these, you usually follow up with warnings that are written and put into their files. Occurrences that warrant verbal warnings are usually quite harmless. They include, coming to work late and not keeping the work area tidy.

Written Warnings

These are very similar to verbal warnings in the sense that they are both on the path toward being terminated. It usually takes just one or two of these before an employer decides that it is no longer a good idea for an employee to continue working there. While a verbal warning is often seen as a pat on the back, written warnings are considered more serious since they are placed into the employee record.


This is one of the types of employee discipline that seems to have the most impact. Some people are given so many warnings for minor infractions, yet they are solid workers. When this happens, you should consider demoting them to a less important position. This is a good way to show them that you mean business and that certain behaviors will not be tolerated.


Most managers that work in retail are very familiar with this form of employee discipline. While many industries do not readily hand out suspensions, retail stores do this quite often. This is similar to getting suspended from school in the sense that you will not be allowed to go to work for a predetermined length of time. Reasons for suspension normally include no-call/no-shows, verbal altercations and unauthorized phone usage.


There are many types of employee discipline, but this is one that everyone has heard of. Sometimes the infraction that occurs is so bad that there is no way that the employee can be reformed. This should only be used in serious circumstances and it should not be taken lightly. Reasons to terminate someone from work include, drug use, physical altercations, chronically disregarding the rules and stealing. While there may be situations like this that you feel do not warrant this type of action, this is generally the way that they are handled.

Now that you have a better idea of the ways to discipline your employees it should make things a bit more simple. Instead of giving out punishment that may or may not fit the situation, you now have a canvas to work with. It is best to be consistent with all of these forms of discipline so employees know exactly what the outcome will be if they do something that is against the rules.

Thank you and May God bless you!

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