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  1. Employer-Employee Relations410-767-5466

  2. Improving Employee’s Performance Counseling

  3. Counseling • giving employees guidance on job performance • not discipline • should be a positive event • a discussion between the supervisor & employee • supervisor advises employee of expectations • employee gives feedback

  4. Counseling Key Points • Active Listening • Give employee your undivided attention • Ensure mutual understanding • Paraphrase employee’s statements

  5. Counseling Key Points • Be reassuring • Reduces intensity of emotions • Good to use when employee lacks confidence • Ensure Understanding • Asks for information • Repeat • Clarify

  6. Sample Counseling Letter

  7. Sample Counseling Letter TO: Bill Employee FROM: Joe Supervisor DATE: February 15, 2003 SUBJECT: Counseling Session - Lateness

  8. Sample Text You were counseled on Thursday, February 15, 2003 for your third occurrence of tardiness within the last 12 months. You were advised at that time that the following is expected of you: 1. Your work hours are 9:00 A. M. to 5:00 P. M. 2. You must report for work as scheduled. 3. If you are unable to report for work or you are going to report to work late, you must call your immediate supervisor on or before 9:00 A. M. 4. You must find adequate transportation to get to work. Contact was made with the car pool coordinator for assistance in the matter. 5. Requests for annual or personal leave must be made at least two days in advance. You indicated that you are aware of the problem concerning lateness. If no improvement is made disciplinary actions will be taken. If you wish to respond to this memorandum or provide additional comments, please do so before February 20, 2003. cc: Official Personnel File I certify that I have personally reviewed this letter and understand that my signature does not imply agreement or disagreement. __________________________ ______________________________________ Date Signature

  9. Sample Letter of Appreciation

  10. Letter of Appreciation July 26, 2003 Ms. Employee DHMH 201 West Preston St Baltimore MD 21201 Dear Ms. Employee, It is with sincere pleasure that I write this letter of special commendation to you for your splendid performance during the recent Maintenance manpower shortage at the DHMH Headquarters. Your loyalty, knowledge and dedication to duty enabled the facility to continue its operations with only minimal interruption. Although all maintenance personnel were unavailable for duty from July 20 through July 23 2003, your prompt and efficient actions provided essential service to other DHMH sections and our customers. I wish to extend my congratulations and express my personal gratitude for this outstanding service. Sincerely, Assistant Director cc: Ms. Manager Official Personnel File

  11. Hints • The memo shouldn’t be prepared until you’ve talked with the employee • Accurately portray information the employee gives you during the session • One issue per counseling • if employee refuses to sign, have another supervisor witness and sign

  12. Counseling is NOT Discipline • Counseling is instructional communication • Counseling cannot be grieved • Within 5 days after receipt of the counseling, the employee may submit a written response to the counseling • the response is sent to the appointing authority • the response is placed in the employee’s file and attached to any record of the memorandum

  13. Performance Planning and Evaluation Program • Develop Standards to rate the employees by at the beginning of the evaluation cycle • Communicate the Standards to your employees • Take good notes throughout the evaluation cycle • Use your notes at the end of the cycle to do the evaluation • Use counseling sessions to inform your employees of the results (allow them to give feedback)

  14. Police Progressive Discipline When All Else Fails

  15. Objectives of Discipline • To tell employees what action will be taken; or what consequences exist when rules, policies, or procedures are not followed or performance standards are not met • To change the behavior of an employee!!!

  16. Progressive Discipline • The principle by which DHMH employees are disciplined. Supervisors take appropriate disciplinary action to change behavior and increase in severity if infractions persist or get worse. Management must follow progressive discipline unless there is a serious breach of discipline or policy.

  17. Disciplinary Actions • Written Reprimand • Forfeiture of Annual Leave • up to 15 work days • Suspension • Denial of Annual Salary Increase • Demotion • Termination

  18. Investigation • Before a disciplinary action is taken a supervisor should • Have another supervisor present, taking notes • Determine what the infraction actually is • Get the employee’s side of the story • take notes or have the employee write a statement explaining what happened • Talk to witnesses • take notes or have the witness write a statement • All supervisors involved should write a summary of conversations with witnesses and employees involved • Draft a report and date it. • Remember - you only have 30 days to impose discipline. Exception - 5 workdays for suspensions. (Will be covered in another slide.)

  19. Prior to Imposing Discipline * Ensure Employee’s Rights - If the employee suspected of misconduct is a member of a bargaining unit, you need to ensure that the employee’s rights are protected.

  20. Employee MOU Rights • In the following situations, the employee must be granted the right to Union representation if requested by the employee : • You interview that employee because you suspect him/her of misconduct (prior to imposition of discipline) • At mitigating circumstances conference with the employee • The employee must be given at least one hour to obtain Union representation

  21. Mitigating CircumstancesConference • This is an opportunity for the employee to explain to management why they should not be disciplined. • Do NOT have the discipline (MS-4A) already prepared, signed and visible to the employee. • If you do, the employee is likely to withhold vital information.

  22. Prior to Imposing Discipline • Investigate the alleged misconduct • Meet with the employee • Consider any mitigating circumstances • Determine the appropriate disciplinary action, if any is to be imposed • Give the employee a written notice of the disciplinary action to be taken and the employee’s appeal rights

  23. Timeframes for Discipline • Reprimand • 30 days after the appointing authority acquires the knowledge • Forfeiture of Annual Leave • 30 days after the appointing authority acquires the knowledge • Suspension • 5 workdays* following the close of the employee’s next shift, after the appointing authority acquires knowledge • * Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and employee leave days are excluded in calculating the 5 workday period

  24. Timeframes for Discipline • Denial of Annual Pay Increase • 30 days after the appointing authority acquires the knowledge • Demotion • 30 days after the appointing authority acquires the knowledge • Termination • 30 days after the appointing authority acquires the knowledge

  25. Progressive Discipline • Like infractions are lumped together • For each subsequent infraction, the discipline is more severe

  26. Steps of Progressive Discipline Charges for Termination Ten day suspension Five day suspension Three day suspension One day suspension Reprimand

  27. Department of Budget and Management Office of Human Resources 301 West Preston Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 NOTICE OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION To Employee: You or your representative may appeal this disciplinary action to the Cabinet Secretary of your department (If your agency is not headed by a Cabinet Secretary, appeal must be made to the agency head). The appeal must be in writing and filed within 15 calendar days after your receipt of this written notice. To Agency: COMPLETE IN DUPLICATE. Give one copy to the employee; and retain one copy for your files. FOR ACTIONS MARKED WITH AN ASTERISK (*), submit a MS-310 processing form with a copy of this notice to the Department of Budget and Management’s Office of Human Resources, Personnel Transactions Unit.

  28. Bill Employee Boiler Operator 000-00-0000 X February 6, 2003 February 7, 2003 Did not report for duty until 9:15 AM. Employee’s duty hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. February 8, 2003 X DHMH • Name of Employee Classification Social Security Number • Check appropriate box and complete: • is reprimanded • * forfeits ____Annual Leave days. • * is suspended without pay for ___work days from ___________ through _____________. • * is denied an annual pay increase effective ____________________________________. • * is demoted to ______________at ________________ effective ___________________. (Classification) (Salary Level) • is placed on emergency suspension effective _______________ through ____________. • DATE OF INCIDENT WHICH PROMPTS THIS DISCIPLINE: ______________________. • DATE WHEN INCIDENT WAS DISCUSSED WITH THE EMPLOYEE: ______________. • REASON FOR DISCIPLINE: (Explain in full) • Copy to Employee: _____________________________  In Person  Mailed • ____________ ____________________ _____________________________________ • (Date) (Name of Department) (Name and Signature of Appointing Authority)

  29. Sample Reprimand Letter TO: Bill Employee FROM: Joe Supervisor DATE: February 7, 2003 SUBJECT: Official Reprimand - Lateness

  30. Sample Reprimand Information You are hereby reprimanded for lateness. On ________________ you did not report for work until ________________. As you are aware the hours of duty are from ________ to _________ hours. Your statement that you overslept because of social activities the preceding evening is not an acceptable excuse. It is your responsibility to arrange your off-duty activities to enable you to get sufficient sleep so that you can report for work on time. Any further occasion of lateness on your part may subject you to further disciplinary action. A copy of this reprimand will be placed in your official personnel file. I certify that I have personally reviewed this letter and understand that my signature does not imply agreement or disagreement. __________________________ ______________________________________ Date Signature February 6, 2003 9:15 AM 8:30 AM 5:00PM

  31. Combining Memorandum • Used to combine a number of offenses • Streamline the disciplinary process

  32. Hints • When possible, one reprimand per type of infraction • Try to keep it one page in length • Restrict information to facts

  33. Department of Budget and Management Office of Human Resources 301 West Preston Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 NOTICE OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION To Employee: You or your representative may appeal this disciplinary action to the Cabinet Secretary of your department (If your agency is not headed by a Cabinet Secretary, appeal must be made to the agency head). The appeal must be in writing and filed within 15 calendar days after your receipt of this written notice. To Agency: COMPLETE IN DUPLICATE. Give one copy to the employee; and retain one copy for your files. FOR ACTIONS MARKED WITH AN ASTERISK (*), submit a MS-310 processing form with a copy of this notice to the Department of Budget and Management’s Office of Human Resources, Personnel Transactions Unit.

  34. Bill Employee Boiler Operator 000-00-0000 X 1 Feb. 25, 2003 Feb. 25, 2003 February 22, 2003 February 24, 2003 You reported to work at 9:30 AM. Your work hours are 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. You received a written reprimand for lateness on Feb. 8, 2003. February 24, 2003 X DHMH • Name of Employee Classification Social Security Number • Check appropriate box and complete: • is reprimanded • * forfeits ____Annual Leave days. • * is suspended without pay for ___work days from ___________ through _____________. • * is denied an annual pay increase effective ____________________________________. • * is demoted to ______________at ________________ effective ___________________. (Classification) (Salary Level) • is placed on emergency suspension effective _______________ through ____________. • DATE OF INCIDENT WHICH PROMPTS THIS DISCIPLINE: ______________________. • DATE WHEN INCIDENT WAS DISCUSSED WITH THE EMPLOYEE: ______________. • REASON FOR DISCIPLINE: (Explain in full) • Copy to Employee: _____________________________  In Person  Mailed • ____________ ____________________ _____________________________________ • (Date) (Name of Department) (Name and Signature of Appointing Authority)

  35. Department of Budget and Management Office of Human Resources 301 West Preston Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 NOTICE OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION To Employee: You or your representative may appeal this disciplinary action to the Cabinet Secretary of your department (If your agency is not headed by a Cabinet Secretary, appeal must be made to the agency head). The appeal must be in writing and filed within 15 calendar days after your receipt of this written notice. To Agency: COMPLETE IN DUPLICATE. Give one copy to the employee; and retain one copy for your files. FOR ACTIONS MARKED WITH AN ASTERISK (*), submit a MS-310 processing form with a copy of this notice to the Department of Budget and Management’s Office of Human Resources, Personnel Transactions Unit.

  36. Bill Employee Boiler Operator 000-00-0000 X March 6, 2003 March 30, 2003 Unalert/Unaware. You were found unalert/unaware in the boiler room. This is a safety hazard. April 1, 2003 X DHMH • Name of Employee Classification Social Security Number • Check appropriate box and complete: • is reprimanded • * forfeits ____Annual Leave days. • * is suspended without pay for ___work days from ___________ through _____________. • * is denied an annual pay increase effective ____________________________________. • * is demoted to ______________at ________________ effective ___________________. (Classification) (Salary Level) • is placed on emergency suspension effective _______________ through ____________. • DATE OF INCIDENT WHICH PROMPTS THIS DISCIPLINE: ______________________. • DATE WHEN INCIDENT WAS DISCUSSED WITH THE EMPLOYEE: ______________. • REASON FOR DISCIPLINE: (Explain in full) • Copy to Employee: _____________________________  In Person  Mailed • ____________ ____________________ _____________________________________ • (Date) (Name of Department) (Name and Signature of Appointing Authority)

  37. Department of Budget and Management Office of Human Resources 301 West Preston Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 NOTICE OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION To Employee: You or your representative may appeal this disciplinary action to the Cabinet Secretary of your department (If your agency is not headed by a Cabinet Secretary, appeal must be made to the agency head). The appeal must be in writing and filed within 15 calendar days after your receipt of this written notice. To Agency: COMPLETE IN DUPLICATE. Give one copy to the employee; and retain one copy for your files. FOR ACTIONS MARKED WITH AN ASTERISK (*), submit a MS-310 processing form with a copy of this notice to the Department of Budget and Management’s Office of Human Resources, Personnel Transactions Unit.

  38. Bill Employee Boiler Operator 000-00-0000 • Name of Employee Classification Social Security Number • Check appropriate box and complete: • is reprimanded • * forfeits ____Annual Leave days. • * is suspended without pay for ___work days from ___________ through _____________. • * is denied an annual pay increase effective ____________________________________. • * is demoted to ______________at ________________ effective ___________________. (Classification) (Salary Level) • is placed on emergency suspension effective _______________ through ____________. • DATE OF INCIDENT WHICH PROMPTS THIS DISCIPLINE: ______________________. • DATE WHEN INCIDENT WAS DISCUSSED WITH THE EMPLOYEE: ______________. • REASON FOR DISCIPLINE: (Explain in full) • Copy to Employee: _____________________________  In Person  Mailed • ____________ ____________________ _____________________________________ • (Date) (Name of Department) (Name and Signature of Appointing Authority)

  39. Note • Denial of Annual Pay Increase • rarely done, usually done in conjunction with an unsatisfactory final PEP • Demotion • the level of evidence is the same as termination • Emergency Suspension • is no longer a tool that can be used

  40. Hearing Process • Management bears the burden of proof • management presents its case first • Employee bears the burden of proof • employee presents his/her case first

  41. Burden of ProofEmployer • Reprimand • Forfeiture of Annual Leave • Suspension • Denial of Annual Pay Increase • Demotion • Termination

  42. Burden of ProofEmployee • Grievances • Discipline of an employee in the executive or management service, or under special appointment • Discipline of an employee on probation in the skilled and professional services, following initial appointment

  43. Witnesses • Both sides (employee/management) can call witnesses • Witnesses are asked questions by both sides • Witnesses receive Administrative Leave (or are counted as working) to attend hearings • Witnesses can be sequestered

  44. Management Representatives • Assist the Employee Relations Officer during the hearing • can suggest questions • verify whether a witness’s testimony is accurate and truthful • advise of inaccurate statements by the witness, or advise of need to rebut statements • Can be a witness

  45. The End The End