As farms grow the number of employees managers are keeping track of increases too. Disciplining bad behavior or poor performance can be overwhelming for managers. Here are some discipline tips from Paul Goeringer, Extension legal specialist with the University of Maryland.
1. Use Evaluations Not only do evaluations benefit the employee and help guide them in the right direction, evaluations are also a valuable tool for the employer. “One of the most important duties you will have as an employer is to evaluate employee performance,” Goeringer says. “Letting an employee know how he or she is performing can encourage the employee to perform at a high level, and letting the employee know he or she has fallen short can help reinforce expectations.” He says you should keep evaluations positive and always have a written record of them.
2. Get it in Writing When an employee is performing poorly and not meeting expectations, let them know verbally, but also in writing Goeringer says. “Notice of poor performance gives the employee an opportunity to correct unacceptable behavior,” he says. Keep all written notices of discipline in the employees file to fall back on should they be terminated. “Good records on all matters related to your employees will help prove that terminating an employee was warranted,” he says.
3. Try Suspension before Termination If an employee continues to not meet expectations, a suspension without pay might be in order according to Goeringer. Here’s an example he gives: “You have an employee, Steve, who is habitually late to work every morning. You should document that Steve is late and explain to Steve that he cannot arrive late to work anymore,” Goeringer says. “If Steve arrives to work late the next day, then you could send Steve home for the day without pay. If Steve arrives late again, then you could terminate Steve.”