OBJECTIVES The participants will: • Identify the value of positive discipline. • Describe how to use discipline to correct improper employee behavior. • Describe how to apply discipline consistently, fairly, and impartially. • Identify the value of progressive discipline.
OVERVIEW • Introduction • Positive and Negative Discipline • Rules and Regulations • The Importance of Discipline • Common Violations and Actions • Progressive Discipline • The Disciplinary Interview • Employee Values • Final Tips
THE PERFECT DEPARTMENT • Perfect set of rules • Management support • All employees know appeal procedures • CO's enforce rules • No transfer of problem personnel • All CO's trained
DIFFICULTIES • Inappropriate or obsolete rules • No management support • Decisions reversed • Officers don't enforce rules • Problem personnel transferred • Little or no training
NEGATIVE DISCIPLINE INVOLVES: • Punishment, often harsh • Win-lose climates • Interpersonal resentment
POSITIVE APPROACH TO DISCIPLINE • Encourages self-discipline • Is necessary educational process • Corrects undesirable and unacceptable behavior • Is aimed at guiding, strengthening, and improving • Calls for mildest penalty that will bring changes
HOT STOVE THEORY • Gives warning • Reacts immediately • Is consistent • Is impersonal • Doesn't apologize or gloat • Doesn't get emotional
RULES ARE KEY TO EFFECTIVE DISCIPLINE IF THEY ARE: • Understood and communicated • Applied equally • Enforced • Written • Needed
IMPORTANCE OF DISCIPLINE To the department: • Enhances efficiency and effectiveness • Reinforces values • Reinforces hierarchical relationships • Fosters order • Clarifies expectations • Resolves problems • Reduces liability
IMPORTANCE OF DISCIPLINE To the CO: • Provides tools to deal with improper behavior • Increases company efficiency • Provides for fair treatment • Contributes to power • Earns respect • Improves performance • Increases self-discipline
IMPORTANCE OF DISCIPLINE To the firefighter: • Provides security • Sets boundaries • Makes goals clear • Rewards good behavior • Corrects problems
A MAJOR FEATURE OF A BUREAUCRACY IS THAT IT ENSURES FAIR TREATMENT FOR ALL EMPLOYEES BY MANAGEMENT. Max Weber
COMMON DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS • Informal discussion • Verbal warning • Written reprimand • Fine • Suspension • Termination
PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE A positive corrective plan, rather than a negative approach
PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE The proposed punishment should: • Be reasonable • Fit the offense • Become increasingly severe for repeated infractions of the same rule
PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE IS A PROCESS THAT HAS THE GREATEST POTENTIAL TO CORRECT IMPROPER EMPLOYEE BEHAVIOR WITH MINIMAL PUNISHMENT.
VALUE OF PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE • Minimum punishment necessary • Fair • Required to implement more severe punishment • Vital if action appealed • Gives employee a chance
TWO QUESTIONS: • Does the proposed discipline fit the violation? • Is the proposed discipline likely to correct behavior?
OFFENSE SECOND THIRD FIRST Tardiness Verbal Warning Reprimand Suspension (Progressive) Insubordination Suspension Termination Missed Alarm Warning/ Ssupension Termination Suspension Sloppy Work Warning Reprimand/ Suspension/ Suspension Termination Improper Warning/ Reprimand/ Termination Conduct Suspension Suspension Violation of Warning Reprimand/ Suspension/ Safety Regs Suspension Termination Stealing Suspension/ Termination Termination Fighting Suspension/ Termination Termination TYPICAL ACTIONS CHART
CONSIDERATIONS WHEN APPLYING PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE • Prior violations • Extenuating circumstances • Seriousness of offense
STEPS IN CONDUCTING A DISCIPLINARY INTERVIEW • Prepare • State case clearly • Let employee respond • Indicate seriousness of problem • State expectations
STEPS IN CONDUCTING A DISCIPLINARY INTERVIEW (cont'd) • Get commitment • End on positive note • Document actions • Inform employee of appeal procedures
Wrong: "Firefighter Smith was verbally warned about improper behavior on this date." Right: "Firefighter Smith was verbally warned about his failure to check batteries and fuel level in Engine #3 on this date."
Wrong: "Firefighter Smith admonished for tardiness." Right: "Firefighter Smith admonished for failure to appear at roll call until 0735 hours this date. Firefighter Smith was 5 minutes late."
A CHECKLIST FOR A SUCCESSFUL DISCIPLINARY INTERVIEW • Select proper setting • Listen • Don't interrupt • Don't lose your temper • Don't argue • Stick to the facts • Focus on behavior, not person
COMMON ERRORS • Not clear about violations • Improper or no documentation
BIZARRE BEHAVIOR Behaviors which are unusual in nature and for which there may not be written rules or procedures that cover the behavior
BIZARRE BEHAVIOR The CO needs to guard against overreacting to the strangeness of the incident and focus on the seriousness of the behavior
BIZARRE BEHAVIOR CHECKLIST • Property damage? • Work interrupted? • Unsafe situation created? • Did employee know better? • Is behavior correctable? • Was law violated? • Was department image damaged? • Was morale damaged?
DEALING WITH BIZARRE BEHAVIOR • Avoid inappropriate reactions • Follow normal procedures • Advise employee of appeal procedures
If there is no specific rule in place,management should: • Determine policy • Transmit policy • Enforce new policy • Continue disciplinary actions
BIZARRE BEHAVIOR • Avoid inappropriate reactions • Seek advice
EMPLOYEE VALUES Wouldn't it be wonderful if all employees had: • The proper attitude • Willingness to work • Commitment to department goals
THREE TYPES OF SUBORDINATES • Employees with the same goals and values as the department • Employees who will adapt to department goals and values • Employees who will not adapt to department goals and values
MOST MARGINAL EMPLOYEES CAN BE COACHED AND MOTIVATED INTO BECOMING PRODUCTIVE EMPLOYEES
FINAL TIPS • Treat every case as if it will be appealed • Don't keep referring to mistakes • Apply discipline consistently • Deal with behavior, not personality • Never discipline when angry • Reinforce good behavior
FINAL TIPS (cont'd) • Set good example • Don't "save up" discipline • Don't threaten • Get help for suspected substance abuse • When in doubt, ask the chief • Don't play games
FINAL TIPS (cont'd) • Don't transfer problems • Be familiar with union contract • Know rules • Praise in public--criticize in private • Admit mistakes