Knowledge

Academic and Classified Evaluation and Discipline for Community College Districts

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Discipline in the employment context refers to formal adverse action taken by management against an employee in response to an employee's misconduct or performance issues. The range of disciplinary actions generally includes oral and written reprimands,  suspension, demotion, and dismissal.  Discipline has traditionally been viewed as the chief means by which management maintains order in the workplace.

However, it is important to view "discipline" in a broader and more contemporary context.  In actuality, discipline should be part of an overall appraisal system designed to maximize employee performance. Employees have been shown to perform optimally when they receive regular and positive reinforcement for their good work and when they are alerted, as early as possible (and, if possible, through non-disciplinary means), to their performance deficiencies.

Thus, "disciplinary" procedures and policies should be developed and applied as one component of a comprehensive approach to maximizing employee performance that includes:

  • Regular performance evaluation and appraisal of employees;
  • Appropriate recognition and rewards for jobs well done;
  • Consideration of appropriate training and educational vehicles for improving performance and enabling promotion as appropriate; and
  • Consideration of appropriate counseling and punitive actions when indicated by substandard job performance or misconduct.

The focus of this workshop is on two of the most critical phases of this process—employee evaluation, and when necessary and appropriate, employee discipline.

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