Commentary by management consultant Michael Wade on Leadership, Ethics, Management, and Life
The two main camps of progressive discipline are (1) It's how you create a paper trail for those on the way out or (2) it's a positive method of improving employee performance.When I was a camp 1 leader, I had high turnover, weak team performance, and poor team development. Once I became a camp 2 guy, those things turned around. A camp 1 guy says "Knock it off or I'm going to fire you. I've got a stack of applications of people that would love to take your place." A camp 2 guy says "I hired you for these great qualities, and it's important to me that you are a part of this team. This piece of paper is simply to memorialize our conversation about an area where you didn't meet the standard and how you can fix that and remain an important part of what we do here. I have no doubt that you can resolve the issue and make this piece of paper a non-issue. How can I support you in that?"Camp 1 may be faster, but it is a path of condemnation. Camp 2 is a path of grace. There's still accountability in a path of grace, you just have an attitude of caring about the investment that you've made in people and hope you never have to use the final step.
Rick,Very good examples. Grace is a term that we need to hear more of in the workplace. So is benevolence.Michael
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