BID® Daily Newsletter
Jul 6, 2021

BID® Daily Newsletter

Jul 6, 2021

Time To Review Your Coaching & Disciplinary Process?

Summary: The pandemic turned homes into workplaces, but now many are returning to the office. During this transition, employees may need to be reminded of personnel rules, including the disciplinary process. As you review your HR procedures, it may be a good time to take a fresh look. We have six steps to help you provide a fair and clear coaching and disciplinary process.

According to Guinness World Records, the narrowest house is located in Poland and was built in 2012. The two-story home is 3 ft. wide at its most narrow. It has only 151 sq. ft of total floor area, and yet fits a bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom. Needless to say, working from home could be a bit problematic for this homeowner.
Yet, the pandemic’s restrictions turned homes into workplaces for many workers, including financial institution employees. The arrangement was more productive than many people expected — but it still left many employees largely supervising themselves. 
Now that vaccines allow many people to return to the office, staff members may need to be reminded of personnel rules, including the process when rules are not followed. A coaching & disciplinary process that everyone understands helps create transparency, encourage productivity, and build a culture in which everyone knows what to expect.  
While community financial institutions (CFIs) have HR processes already in place, it may be a good time to take a fresh look at them. Michael Provitera, who is president of Motivational Leadership Training in FL, says that a progressive approach can help form a solid coaching and disciplinary process. 
From the beginning, be very clear about what behavior will bring disciplinary attention. Your list will include failure to do the job, harassment, violence, intoxication during the workday, breaking the law, or discrimination, but there may be others. Check with your HR department for a full list. Most of these go without saying, but still, they must be communicated to all employees. Then, when an employee fails to follow one (or more) of the rules, these six steps provide a fair and clear process.
  1. When an employee’s performance first needs adjusting, start with a more casual conversation. Bring up what needs to change, but treat it as a form of mentoring. Listen to the employee’s side of the story and let that determine how you move forward. The worker may have good reasons for acting as they did.
  2. If the situation doesn’t improve, a verbal warning comes next. This can be over the phone, through Zoom, or in person.
  3. More formal verbal counseling is the following step. Have a one-on-one chat with the employee and consider including another person. The second person is a witness to what you said and makes the situation more formal, which can raise the chances that the person will reform.
  4. While many situations won’t need anything beyond this point, those that don’t change their ways should get a written warning next.
  5. Most employees will have cleaned up their act or resigned by now. If they haven’t, there could be two options — a transfer or a suspension. A transfer or demotion can follow for cases in which the institution would like to keep the employee but limit their capacity. This could be the case with unsatisfactory performance in a certain role. A suspension or disciplinary layoff would happen in most other instances.
  6. Not every last-ditch endeavor succeeds. If the problematic behavior persists after every other step you’ve taken, it’s time to dismiss the employee. Decide ahead of time whether the termination is immediate or in two weeks (or some other time frame), as well as whether you’ll offer severance pay or a continuation of benefits for any period. 
At every step up to the last one, keep the focus on coaching and mentoring the staffer, helping this person to grow professionally into the behavior that best serves both the employee and the CFI. No one should feel surprised by a termination because it should be clear that every effort was made to achieve a more positive outcome.
A widely understood and impartially applied coaching and disciplinary process is necessary for the benefit of both the CFI and the employee. Everyone should know the rules so that they can play by them. It promotes productivity and can also defend institutions against any potential lawsuits. Now is the time to review and shore up your process, with the help of your HR department.
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