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Just this morning, this employee retention speaker and employee retention author was reading a blog from pastor Rick Warren about giving feedback to people and how to make it effective.  Several of the points he brought up are consistent with the C.R.A.P. philosophy (Caring, Respect, Appreciation and Praise).  It got me thinking about the topic of discipline that I speak to in my C.R.A.P. Leadership™ System.

Discipline is one of those things that leaders need to do as part of leading people.  It’s also integral to improving employee retention in the opinion of this employee retention author.  It’s also one of the things that leaders hate to do.  In all my years as an HR Leader, it was rare that I saw a leader that enjoyed conducting a disciplinary meeting.  When they did, I started to wonder about them as a leader.  The reason I think most leaders shy away from discipline is that they don’t have the proper mindset about it.  Discipline needs to be taken because you care about the person and the other people in the organization.

If a leader truly cares about their people, they will want to see the person improve both professionally and personally.  This benefits the person as well as the people that work with the person.  There is nothing more frustrating to a well performing employee than to be working with a non-performer.  When a person is struggling to perform their job well, it’s usually pretty frustrating to that person…as well as to the leader and to their co-workers.  I have seen top performers quit because they are tired of carrying the load for non-performers.  When you sit down with the person and start out by explaining that you care about them as a person and as an employee (in your heart you have to mean it) the message you are going to deliver tends to be accepted better by the person when they know you are not doing it with malice in your heart.  That receptivity goes a long way in the person accepting the feedback and raises the chances that change will take place.

After you give the feedback (tactfully and honestly), you need to hear the person out, have a discussion about their performance and decide on a course of action to solve the performance issue.  Then, before you wrap up, this employee recruitment speaker believes you have to explain that you are having this discussion because you care about the person and that they do add value to the organization…otherwise, why would you have them on the payroll?

When discipline is done with the proper frame of mind, it tends to be much more effective.  If, ultimately, things don’t improve then you need to take further action.  The key is to take the action because you care.  Why?  Because C.R.A.P. Works!