Maintaining Discipline at Work

Maintaining Discipline at Work

While it is good to give your employees some space to breathe it can also become important sometimes to get them to follow a certain code of conduct. For optimum performance of employees there needs to be a balance of both, knowing when to go soft on employees and knowing when to crack the whip, not literally of course.

Discipline in the workplace is mostly related to training the employees in a certain way that ensures that they follow the code of conduct. In the absence of rules employees tend to believe that they can do anything that their heart wishes to do. The responsibility of establishing a code of conduct lies solely with the higher management or the human resources department. This code of conduct should be followed by every employee of the organisation.

It is human nature to overlook rules sometimes and in times like these it becomes important to enforce discipline:


  • Define Responsibilities

If you have hired a separate human resources department then it is their responsibility to implement the code of conduct. It is the most important function of the human resources department. They can be thought of as the police of an organisation as they enforce the rules and take action against those who flout them.

However in most organisations the responsibility of hiring and firing employees lies with the human resources department and managers. In these organisations a manager is also involved in the process of hiring and firing an employee. According to the rules it is the sole responsibility of the manager but the human resources department intervene to make the process as smooth as possible.


  • Clear Code of Conduct

The code of conduct of an office should not have loopholes like the constitution of a country. It should be direct in terms of the action and consequence. The code of conduct should clearly define the right and wrong behaviour in the workplace. If an action qualifies as wrongful behaviour then appropriate action should be taken.

Clear Code of Conduct

Time should not be wasted to take the necessary action as every employee must be aware of the consequence of wrongful behaviour and should not take any rule for granted. There are many actions that can qualify as wrongful behaviour such as fraud, theft, assault, insubordination, recklessness, conflict of interest, breach of confidentiality, submitting false documents, drunken behaviour, being under the influence of narcotics, sexual harassment, sleeping on the job, bribery and discrimination.


  • Zero Tolerance Policy

Many organisations around the world are famous for their zero tolerance policy. The meaning of zero tolerance policy is that any wrongful behaviour should not be forgiven or taken lightly by their superiors. Work is a place where one needs to be at the top of their behaviour and any behaviour that is aimed at hurting the company’s reputation should not be tolerated.

Many employees have a tendency to reach office late and this should not be encouraged at any cost. If you want to keep track of the in and out time of several employees then you should make use of clocking cards which can be found at that can help you store this information in a systematic manner.

Define an appropriate punishment for every action depending on its severity. Several options that you have include penalties, a written or verbal warning, termination or suspension. State the rules clearly and ensure that they are being practiced on the office floor.


  • Create a transparent reporting system

Create a transparent reporting system

The manner in which complaints are handled should be as transparent and straight forward as possible. The employees should not be scared to report against their superior. If an employee has to worry about keeping his job after filing a complaint then the whole purpose of having a code of conduct falls into perspective. It is important to hold investigations that are prompt and impartial in nature to ensure that all employees are treated equally.


The new employees should be made familiar to the law of the land the day they are inducted. They should be encouraged to read it thoroughly to ensure that they have clearly understand the implications of not following the rules.


  • Incentivise Employees

Just like a team gets fair play points in a sport, an employer must encourage a practice of appreciating those who have abided by the rules by giving them certain incentives. Such a practice will motivate employees to follow rules. This is particularly good for employees who want a reward for every action that is expected of them after all it is human nature to have greater motivation for something that is well-rewarded.


Following these above rules does not imply that there will be no misconduct or indiscipline in your organisation. By following these guidelines you can ensure that you have a good system in place to maintain discipline at workplace.


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3 thoughts on “Maintaining Discipline at Work

  1. Some great tips there. An employee must never be biased towards people, whether he is being more nice or being more rude to them. He has to treat them exactly the same no matter what. I think rewarding people for doing good work is great because it show’s that they are doing a great job and shows bosses care about the employees. Rules are important otherwise people are going to do whatever they want.

  2. Well, discipline, at least, allows people to keep their jobs. The other option is firing which can be horrible for some. Anyway, though, I think certain bad behavior could become cool or “chic” among the staff and it would be tougher to root out. For instance, I know this restaurant where the waitstaff have mocked the customer. However, though, it’s tough to say if the customer deserved it or not. For instance, many don’t tip well and some sexually harass.

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