This article is a continuation of “How to Properly Correct Employees – Part Two“ If you haven’t done so yet, we recommend reading the first article to get a better context when reading this one.
If the staff member commits a third offense of the same kind, we recommend that you do the following:
- Issue a written warning and place a copy of it in his personnel file.
- Sit down and discuss the situation with him.
- Remind him of the fact that you have corrected him on the same infraction twice before.
- Tell him that, per office policy, continued violations could result in suspension or dismissal.
Practice owners usually find that this type of action on a third offense puts a stop to the problem. If it doesn’t, at least it points out clearly to the owner that he has a real “problem staff member” on his hands and that proper actions, including thorough documentation, will need to be taken in order to suspend or dismiss the staff member who continues to violate written company policy or procedure.
What do you do with a staff member whom you’ve corrected three times and who messes up again? You’ve already given him a written warning and discussed the fact that continued violations could result in suspension or dismissal; but you find that he repeatedly violates company policy.
At this point you should check his production record (though you already should have done that when you observed previous infractions). Hopefully, you have a simple statistical method to keep track of key production metrics for each staff member, and the office as a whole, so that you can monitor both individual and group productivity. If the person is an excellent producer (which is unlikely, given that he keeps messing up), you might consider, as your next step, suspension without pay for an appropriate number of days. If the person has a poor production record, dismissal might be in order.
Again, the importance of having proper office policies and job descriptions in place in order to properly deal with staff cannot be overemphasized. You could easily find yourself in a legal quagmire if you attempt to discipline staff without having them in place.
We also strongly recommend that you check with a good employment attorney when you are considering the dismissal of any problem employee, to ensure that all of your legal bases are covered.