It’s Friday morning before the long weekend, and you’re looking forward to a quick workday. When you arrive to work, you find an unexpected notice. The employee you let go last month has made a claim of wrongful dismissal. You wonder how this can be; you provided the employee with a verbal warning, then a written warning, followed by a three-day suspension before they were terminated. Surely, you’ve done enough to cover yourself legally, right?
Progressive discipline is a great management tool when used effectively. Unfortunately, two steps are often missed during the coaching stage: support and facilitation. Going through the motions is not enough—employers need to actively engage in the process. The intent of progressive discipline is to provide employees with opportunities to modify or correct inadequate performance and behaviour. Without actively supporting employees and facilitating opportunities for performance improvements, that purpose is undermined.