The Art of Discipline for Managers
Discipline is an ‘art’. Every manager in his or her career will deal with problematic behavior or lower than expected performance levels when managing employees. The word ‘discipline’ usually generates negative reactions from managers because discipline may be seen as a form of punishment. How do you feel about disciplining your employees?
The definition of discipline (Merriam-Webster.com) encompasses several different interpretations: 1) a field of study 2) training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character, 3) control gained by enforcing obedience or order , punishment or 4) a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
Discipline is an important skill to have when managing employees. If you feel that discipline is a punishment, try reframing your position around the word. What are your comfort levels with ‘disciplining’ employees?
What if you were to think that your intervention with an employee is collaborating with them and helping them succeed?
Strong managers know that discipline is synonymous with coaching, counseling, improving performance and part of the manager’s role in meeting their business goals. If you have a new employee, you may just consider your role as a coach. If it’s a seasoned employee with below performance levels, you may consider your intervention as discipline.
How strong are you in the discipline arena…do you feel you have the skills to effectively and respectively manage your employees behavior and work performance? Here are some thoughts that may be helpful.
Proactive in managing your employees – helps build your employees and your discipline skills.
Set clear standards and expectations – helps employees know what they need to do to succeed in their role.
Follow through quickly on behavior or performance that don’t meet expectations.
Create a supportive environment for employees to seek your counsel.
Benefits of Discipline
Employees receive the benefit of learning.
Employees want to succeed and perform at acceptable levels…with your guidance.
When you speak with your employees early on, you can change behaviors. If you wait too long, you could potentially lose a strong employee.
Discipline is insuring that your employees are performing at their highest level. Obviously, each person brings different talents and skills to the workplace, but everyone has a personal best. Your job is to find it.
How do you bring out the best in each employee….with discipline.
Here are simple, though effective, steps you can take to develop your discipline skills.
Ways to Develop Discipline in Managing Employees
Identify standards and expectations for performance and behaviors.
Identify behaviors or performance levels that are below standards.
Create a plan to handling all behavior or performance issues. Start with coaching, counseling (informal discussion), with written documentation being the last phrase of your intervention. If you intervene early on, you will find that coaching and counseling is your predominant mode of interaction with your employees.
Ask for the employee’s buy in to meeting the changes you are requesting. The more an employee buys in to their performance, the better the results will be.
Follow up to insure that the employee is meeting expectations.
Recognize all positive changes in behaviors or performance.
Incorporating discipline into your work world influences the effectiveness of your employees, as well as you own. The more you feel comfortable collaborating with employees on their success by providing effective guidance, the more positive the outcome will be with your team.
Do You Have a “Development Plan?”
Motivating People to Peak Performance by Brian Tracy
(Sixty-minute video/DVD, two identical 60-minute audios plus workbook for training) Learn the 21 best methods ever discovered to manage and motivate others: Build self-esteem and self-confidence in others; Create a climate of trust and belief; Manage by positive expectations; Empower each person to peak performance; Build a top team of motivated people; Unlock the full potential of every employee.