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Sometimes, it takes a new manager or supervisor to see how poorly an employee is performing.

Perhaps the former boss was too lenient or didn’t want to rock the boat. Maybe the performance problems are new.

Either way, if an employee who has been getting good reviews suddenly appears to slump under new leadership, don’t jump the gun and discipline the employee right away.

Mastering Employee Discipline: Documentation Strategies and 101 Sample Write-Ups will show you how to document and discuss employee discipline in the most clear, accurate and legally safe way possible. Get this step-by-step outline on how to effectively document employee performance.

Here’s a better approach: Take the time to document exactly what the employee is doing wrong and give her a chance to fix the problems. Then carefully track her progress (or lack thereof) before demoting or terminating her.

If challenged or sued, you’ll be able to show that poor performance—not some form of bias—triggered the adverse employment action.

During Mastering Employee Discipline, Paul Falcone, vice president of HR at Time Warner Cable and author of the best-selling book 101 Sample Write-Ups for Documenting Employee Performance Problems: A Guide to Progressive Discipline & Termination, will teach you how to compose well-structured write-ups that avoid "codifying the damage" to your company if a plaintiff's attorney ever attempts to use your disciplinary documents against you. Get this instantly downloadable mp3 now...

Recent case: Beulah Johnson, who is black, was hired as the HR manager at a Kmart in North Carolina. She held the job for four years and got several good reviews. Then the company began taking a close look at poorly performing stores and sent in new managers to fix them.

Johnson’s new manager discovered that employees were complaining about her performance. They said they had to wait months before getting regular pay raises because she fell behind in her paperwork. The new manager was shocked
at the state of Johnson’s messy office and at other apparent paperwork problems.

He gave her a new performance evaluation and told her what she needed to do to improve. When she didn’t, he demoted her and hired a replacement.

Johnson eventually sued, alleging she had been demoted because of her race. But the court disagreed and dismissed her case. It said the company had shown she wasn’t meeting reasonable expectations. (Johnson v. Kmart, No. 5:07-CV-84, ED NC, 2008)

During Mastering Employee Discipline, Paul Falcone will help you:
  • Master progressive discipline and effectively structure terminations.
  • Draft warnings, discipline and termination documents – the right way.
  • Save time and remove the anxiety from the discipline-documentation process.
  • Build confidence in your writing skills and improve your standing within the organization.
  • Shift responsibility for improvement away from the organization and back to the employee (where it rightfully belongs!).
  • Allow employees a chance to take ownership of their own performance improvement.
  • Erect a legal barrier against wrongful termination lawsuits.
  • Avoid the common mistakes employers make with their discipline policies and follow-through.
  • Employ alternatives to formal disciplinary warnings, including letters of clarification and decision-making leaves.
  • Learn how to use progressive discipline documents as a means to control performance, behavior and attendance problems … and cut costs.

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