We know that a systematic orderly manner is necessary in awork environment in order to achieve company goals, and at the same timesatisfy personal needs. Top management understands the need for discipline.Supervisors and managers understand the need, and believe it or not, employeesfully understand the need for discipline in the work environment. If you wereto take a poll of all your employees they would probably all be in agreementthat good discipline makes their job easier. That’s rather hard to believe, butemployees want an orderly and disciplined work environment. If that’s the case,what’s the problem? Well, let’s answer that question with some examples of poordisciplinarian actions. There’s a company rule that all employees must be atwork on time. When an employee violates this rule, action must be taken. Theworld’s worst employee comes in last, and is given a written warning relatingto this incident. The best employee in the company, who has never been late inhis life, comes in late, but no action is taken against this individual. Whatyou have here is unfair, biased, and unequal enforcement of the rules. You havecondoned a rule violation by not taking action on Mr. Wonderful. Any way youlook at it, it’s unfair, and unequal enforcement of the rules.
Discipline is having a set of rules, and enforcing thoserules equally among all employees. Before you start throwing things at thetelevision set let’s see what action is appropriate for Mr. Wonderful. Now thisis a great employee, always follows the rules, has a clean record, and issimply a great employee. Action for the simple infraction of being late couldbe nothing more than a short counseling, and an agreement that coming to workon time is a company rule that is enforce for all employees. A simple note onthe employee’s file that a counseling was conducted for the infraction, andthat’s it. Action was taken. In the case of Virgil Dunderhead a written warningwas justified because he violated this rule in the past. You’re taking actionon both individuals, but the degree of action doesn’t have to be the samedepending upon the circumstances. You have fair equal enforcement of the rules.