What does ‘disciplinary-free’ mean in reality? For an environment to be free from disciplinary action, it requires a high degree of stability and an established workplace culture that makes every employee feel valued, while providing a consistent and encouraging environment. This workplace culture is determined by leadership that is firm but underpinned by compassion.
“Disciplinary procedures, while essential, are a drain on energy,” explains Lisa Gower of Ubuntu HR, providers of leadership and management training. “They can be complex and demanding, and even though they are about resolving issues, if they occur with any regularity then they risk further damaging workplace culture.”
While employees have responsibilities around issues like attendance and behaviour, much of the workplace culture is determined from the top down.
“Leaders don’t always understand that their actions set the tone in a company, affecting how it is perceived by employees, and, ultimately, how much they buy into it”
Lisa Gower, Ubuntu HR
A good employee contributes to the growth of a business, but this is not simply through being dutiful and obedient. It is also about being heard and feeling free to speak out.
“A good culture at work is one where employees feel their views are respected, and that they are able to air them,” Lisa points out. “This respect has to come from thoughtful leadership, and it has to be clearly expressed.”
Many smaller businesses are very personality-driven, even where they have a significant number of employees. The personality that leads a business also helps set the tone of its culture.
“Stable businesses with less staff turnover are more likely to have strong but compassionate leadership,” Lisa says. “These leaders are able to provide a sense of consistency to their workers, and are repaid by a noticeable lack of disciplinary procedures.”
“The disciplinary-free workplace may seem like an unreachable ideal, but getting the culture right can set a business on a clear path towards attaining it”
Lisa Gower, Ubuntu HR
“A lot of businesses get ground down by disciplinary processes,” Lisa concludes, “but well-trained management can spot potential problems early on. Getting the communication right in the first place and making employees feel valued can help in the long run in establishing the kind of positive workplace culture that prevents disciplinary issues from occurring.”
To discover how you can strengthen your workplace culture and reduce disciplinary procedures, please call Ubuntu HR on 0161 478 8293 or visit ubuntuhr.co.uk.