Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Helping Disciplined Employees

Click here for New Fact Sheet for Download but read about it first.

Employers and employees equally dislike the dispensing of discipline, also referred to as adverse actions. When discipline happens, a variety of employee reactions are possible. Some employees accept discipline as a constructive experience and opportunity for change. Others react to discipline with anger, resentment, threats, and in the worst cases, violence of the worst kind.

Discipline isn't going away, no matter what kind of reaction employees have to it. Some organizations make it the last resort, but nevertheless, helping employees respond to discipline in a constructive way is a worthy, possibly life-saving endeavor.

Without a doubt, EAPs are in the best position to help employees gain the most from a disciplinary experience, both in heeding its message and gaining the most personal growth from the crisis it represents. Whether it's discovering an unresolved personal problem that contributes to problematic behavior, or reframing discipline as an opportunity for a better future going forward, managing an employee's reaction to discipline remains somewhat unexplored territory for stakeholders.

The most rudimentary steps have been recommended by some insurance companies to prevent violence following disciplinary actions. However, these ultimate payors of enormous sums resulting from violent reactions to discipline have not used EAP processes to their fullest advantage.

This is another argument for EAPs being an essential part of any organization's risk management strategy, not just a service tucked into a benefits package. The excitement lies in advocating for this increasing role for EAPs in work organizations to save lives and money. Is this the shortest distance between two points? Is an all out assault on the goal of incorporating EAPs in risk management strategies to help allay the financial risk of major insurers easier hanging fruit for us? Is it a faster walk to what we all want than searching for next rung on the "EAP ladder of acceptance" using long-term strategies like funding more research to prove our worthiness? I think free markets and market forces have faster solutions for EAPs. Practiticioners must take the lead in the field, not academics. What do you think? (Just thinking outloud here folks.)

This month's editable and reproducible fact sheet, When You've Been Disciplined at Work, is designed to add to your ability to help employees respond constructively to the disciplinary experience. It's part of the new GROUP 5 fact sheets released today at EAPtools.com.

Amend this fact sheet with your own experience. Do collaborate on its use with your HR and management partners. I am certain you will find creative ways to use it--perhaps before discipline happens--to help employees, protect organizations, and possibly save lives. New Fact Sheet for Download http://workexcel.com/discipline.html