One of the more difficult responsibilities of a Head of Department or manager is to discipline a staff member. However, this is also one of the more important responsibilities as failure to take the necessary disciplinary action timeously not only impacts the staff member concerned and other staff in the department but it also impacts the entire University.
Impact on the staff member concerned: The purpose of disciplinary action is to initiate corrective action to address the problematic conduct or performance. It is important to take such action timeously whereby the staff member is advised clearly and appropriately that such conduct is unacceptable or the level of work performance is problematic. Failure to do so timeously prejudices the staff member as they may be unaware (a) That their behavior is unacceptable; (b) Of the impact on others and the institution of what they are doing; and (c) That they are putting their employment at risk should the behavior or poor performance exist.
Impact on the department and other staff: A staff member behaving in an unacceptable manner or whose work performance is problematic will inevitably have a negative impact on other staff who may find themselves (a) Under stress where they have to do the staff member’s work. This can lead to issues of burnout, resignation, higher levels of absenteeism; and/or (b) Demotivated because of the unfairness of the staff member’s conduct or performance not being addressed by the HoD/manager. This is also likely to impact the service levels of the department and therefore, client or student satisfaction levels.
Impact on the rest of the University: Fairness as well as the law dictates that discipline should be fairly and consistently applied across the entire University. A HoD/manager’s failure to address discipline can set a precedent which may impact other HoD/manager’s ability to take disciplinary action.
Please see the Disciplinary Booklet for more information: Disciplinary Booklet
Last Modified: Mon, 13 May 2013 10:21:24 SAST