In to the employee, such as warnings and

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Last updated: March 26, 2019

In everywork environment, it is important for Human Resource Managers to create andinstill an effective discipline system for their employees. There are twodisciplinary approaches that companies still enforce today: the punitive andnon-punitive approach.

Many companies are shifting away from the punitiveapproach because they have witnessed more problems than benefits. The punitiveapproach to discipline simply refers to punishment given to the employee, suchas warnings and suspensions. Some companies believe the punitive approach createsa problematic climate because it makes the managerial staff appear as the “badguy”. Also, a major problem with the traditional approach is that it creates anenvironment of resentment or apathy; absenteeism and grievances increase, whilecommunication and trust decline (Campbell, Fleming, & Grote, 1985, p. 168).With the non-punitive approach, employees must take responsibility of theiractions and commit to producing satisfactory performance if allowed to remainemployed. It is clear that more and more companies are shifting towards anon-punitive approach because they want a system that provides consistency,fairness, and lasting corrective measures (Campbell et al, 1985, p. 162).

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Implementingthis approach allows companies to increase the trust among their employees and productivity.For example, an employee who is suspended with pay is more than likely toreturn and be ready to get right to work. The employee can use that time toreflect on his or her actions and will return without feeling anger towards thesupervisors. This is one example that illustrates the desire for a non-punitiveapproach. A non-punitive approach to discipline requires problem employees tomake a choice: to become either committed employees or former employees; whilethe punitive approach takes problem employees, punish them, and leave thempunished problem employees (Campbell et al, 1985, p. 178).

Before determiningthe elements of effective performance management, one must first know what thisprocess entails. The process includes setting clear and specific performanceexpectations for each employee and providing periodic informal and formalfeedback about employee performance relative to those stated goals (Managing EmployeePerformance, 2015). Performance management is defined as the process throughwhich managers ensure that employees’ activities and outputs are congruent withthe organization’s goals (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2016, p.321). To ensure that the organizations system aligns with their goals, theymust first pinpoint what elements are most important. Once determined, theywill then need to measure those elements in order to be able to providefeedback so employees can adjust their performance to the goals of the company.There are five important elements, when used collectively, that can evaluatethe effectiveness of performance management systems. These elements are strategiccongruence, validity, reliability, acceptability, and specifity.

The mostimportant element, in my opinion, would be strategic congruence. Strategic congruenceis the extent to which a performance management system elicits job performancethat is congruent with the organization’s strategy, goals, and culture (Noe etal, 2016, p. 326). If an organization’s focus is revenue, its performancemanagement system should evaluate the extent of sale growth within the company.This was evident at my previous employer, Portrait Innovations. With revenue asthe main focus, we had a program on each computer in the store that allowedemployees to view their daily, weekly, and monthly sales and averages. This programwas also a way for managers to review our sales to ensure we maintained thesales quota of a minimum $140 weekly average. The second importantelement of evaluating performance management systems would have to bespecifity.

Specifity is the extent to which a performance measure tellsemployees what is expected of them and how they can meet these expectations(Noe et al., 2016, p. 330). If a performance measure does not specify what theemployee must accomplish for the company to reach their goals, the employeewill not know what to do.

Also, if the measure does not pinpoint exactly whatproblems the employee has, he or she will not know what is needed to correcttheir performance to achieve the organizational goals. Withdiscipline and performance management systems in place, organizations must alsoset forth a grievance procedure. A grievance procedure is a means of internaldispute resolution by which an employee may have his or her grievancesaddressed (Grievance Procedures, 2012). Although the grievance procedure hasthe same concept in regards to union and non-union processes, there are a fewdifferences that are important to note. In step one of the grievance procedure,employees may discuss the problem orally with their supervisor in the non-unioncomplaint process, while in a union, the union steward and employee may discussthe problem and then they come together and decide whether the problem has beenresolved (Noe et al., 2016, p.

607). Another difference is evident in the nextstep because in a union environment, the employee will be represented by theunion and the union steward will meet with management to discuss the grievance.In a non-union process, the grievance is simply put in writing and moved alongto the next level of the company hierarchy (Grievance Procedures, 2012). If theresolution reached by the company is not satisfactory to the employee, he orshe is allowed to submit an appeal to the Human Resource department in anon-union process. On the other hand, at this time in a union grievanceprocedure, a member from higher level management and potentially a higher-levelunion representative will review the grievance as set forth by the initialcontract (Grievance Procedures, 2012). As illustrated here, the union grievanceprocess has a set procedure in place that provides detailed steps to take thatultimately involves all members of the organizations higher level members.

To improvethe non-union grievance process, organizations should first create an effectiveand detailed grievance procedure to follow. The company should also be sure tokeep all methods of communication open. It is very important that the employeeis able to contact all members of the grievance committee to ensure that theirissues are resolved or if other questions arise.

This would be beneficial inmany different retail jobs because when there is a complaint, the manager isnotified and the employee is left waiting with no contact. Lastly, anotherbeneficial improvement would be to give employees the option to utilizealternative grievance methods, such as arbitration, to ensure unbiasedprocessing and resolution.   

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