This entails systematically conducting the business by the organizational members who strictly adhere to the essential rules and regulations. These employees work together as a team for the purpose of achieving organizational mission as well as vision. They truly understand that the individual and group aims and desires must be matched so as to ensure organizational success at any level.
An organized employee will be disciplined, and vice versa. Discipline entails conforming to the code of conduct established by the organization. It is a tool of employee management. It ensures productivity and efficiency in an organization. It equally encourages harmony and co-operation among employees as well as acts as a morale booster for the employees in an organization. Chaos, confusion, corruption and disobedience result when there is no discipline in an organization.
In summary, discipline in an organization implies obedience, orderliness and maintenance of proper subordination among employees.
An effective disciplinary system
Discipline should be imposed without generating resentment as a result. Sound and effective disciplinary system in an organization should have the following characteristics-
- Immediate- Discipline has to be immediate. The penalty for violation should be immediate and not dragged on more than necessary.
- Consistent- There should be consistency in the disciplinary system. It shouldn’t be a case of different strokes for different folks.
- Impersonal- Disciplinary actions should be devoid of personal feelings. Sentiments should be removed from it.
- Prior warning and notice- A sound disciplinary system should give advance warning to the employees as to the implications of not conforming to the standards of behavior/code of conduct in an organization, prior to disciplinary actions.
A sound disciplinary system puts the following into consideration
- Knowledge of rules- It assumes that the employees should be well aware of the desired code of conduct in the organization. This code of discipline should be published in employee handbook for all to see.
- Timely action- Timely enquiry should be conducted for breaking the code of conduct in an organization. The more later the enquiry is made, the more forgetful one becomes and the more he feels that punishment is not deserved. Which could render the disciplinary system ineffective.
- Fair and just action- There should be no case of favoring anyone. It should be same for everyone.
- Positive approach- It should concentrate on preventing misconduct and not on imposing penalties. The employees should not only be explained the reason for actions taken against them but also how such fines and penalties can be avoided in future.
Employees are bound to misbehave at some point or the other. They are never really perfect in their dealings at all time. But when this happens, your employee management skills will be so much needed. You probably will need to discipline defaulting employees, so that such situations will not arise again.
For not following the standards of behavior/code of conduct in an organization, there are two kinds of penalties categorized as-
- Major penalties- This includes demotion, dismissal, transfer, discharge, and withholding increments.
- Minor penalties- This includes oral warning, written warning, fines, and loss of privileges.