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Poor discipline will impact on business

Staff discipline is a matter that management can’t ignore, whether it involves a sales executive or a bodyshop technician. Avoiding the procedure can result in poor business performance and low morale in employees.

Clive Harding, Vertu Motors HR director, said: “The disciplinary procedure is about trying to modify behaviour for the benefit of the company and the individual.

“The two key problems are under-performance and poor behaviour.

“Performance is so key to the success of the business – if an employee can not improve with support and training, then we can not tolerate that. I think a business has every right to take that attitude.”

Disciplinary procedures traditionally involve an original investigatory meeting, followed by a three-stage warning.

One of the biggest problems with the process is employee attitude, said Harding.

“They think they are just going through the motions with the idea of getting rid of them. This isn’t the case. It is a genuine attempt to change behaviour,” he added.

“To do anything else is deceitful and does not reflect the values of the company.

“Other staff benefit from appropriate discipline. It makes people feel like something is being done – nobody likes to see others shirking responsibility.”

He added: “However, if discipline is handled badly, it gives a bad impression to current and potential employees.”

Discipline is a problem across all industries and Harding does not think it is particularly a motor industry issue: “It entirely depends on the organisation and what their values are and how fervently they address those things.

“Ultimately, motor retail is a slim profit margin business. Hopefully we’ve recruited the right people in the first place but if problems arise, let’s address that. We cannot afford not to.”

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