Most employment litigation is caused by an angry employee who felt that he/she had not been treated fairly by not receiving his/her “day in court.” This feeling of unfair treatment by an employee is usually the result of a disciplinary process that failed to thoroughly investigate an incident and/or failed to properly communicate expectations.
Our Member-Partners are trained to implement our proprietary disciplinary review process that is designed to eliminate the flaws of traditional disciplinary action.
Our program is called Open-Heart Conversations and it has two Phases.
Phase 1 – Initial phone review:
- When an organization decides that disciplinary action is necessary to correct an issue with an employee, the manager to whom the employee reports can contact a Member-Partner to review the situation. The Member-Partner will walk the manager thorough a 14-point checklist for determining whether just and proper cause may exist for disciplinary action.
- If it is decided that proper cause is not present at this time for disciplinary action, the Member-Partner and the manager will develop a strategy for monitoring the situation and continuing to build a case.
- If it is decided to proceed with disciplinary action, the Member-Partner will take the following action:
a) For an oral warning, the Member-Partner and manager will brainstorm the issue and expected changes in performance and behavior. The Member-Partner and manager will also brainstorm any problems that may arise in the meeting. The manger and the Member-Partner or just the manager will conduct the meeting.
b) For a written warning, the Member-Partner would initiate Phase 2.
Phase 2 – Preparation of Written Documentation:
- The Member-Partner will send the form, “Issues Resolution Worksheet Manager Confidential,” to the manager for the manager to initially record information. The manager will email the completed form to the Member-Partner.
- The Member-Partner will call the manager to review the form. During and after the phone conversation, the Member-Partner will make additions, deletions, and changes to the form in an effort to clarify any points and minimize wording that may cause inflamed feelings.
- The Member-Partner will retype the “Issues Resolution Worksheet Manager Confidential” information onto a new form that will be given to the employee. The Member-Partner will review the new form with the manager.
- The manager and Member-Partner will agree to any final changes to the form.
- The Member-Partner and manager will then brainstorm and role play any issues that may arise during the disciplinary action meeting with the employee. The Member-Partner will review with the manager the suggested disciplinary action meeting format, which is part of the Open-Heart Conversation Program. The Member-Partner will participate in the disciplinary session if requested by the manager.
Following the Phase 1 or Phase 2 meeting, the manager and the Member-Partner will meet to debrief about the session and troubleshoot any issues that may have come up during the meeting.
To get more information about the Open-Heart Conversation Program, click on the Downloads section of our website and download the white paper titled, “Disciplinary Conversations.”
To receive information about our disciplinary process, contact a Member-Partner in your area or our corporate offices.