Few feelings can compare to the anxiety and frustration evoked when receiving a corrective action, also known as a “disciplinary notice”. This especially holds true for the career achiever, typically taken aback by substandard feedback.
Amazing is the impact which supervision has on an employee’s future. Fortunate are the employees who report to superiors with a genuine interest in their niche development and professional growth. These are the hallmarks of a caring leader who inspires top notch output.
However, not every staff member is as fortunate. Should a corrective action be issued to a historically decorated and hence unsuspecting employee, the following suggestions should be considered. When an adverse event presents, these best practices will offer clarity amidst the impending confusion, frustration, and disappointment which invariably follow:
- Request a copy of the policy referencing the violation and understand precisely how it occurred.
- Be prepared to respectfully rebut inaccuracies, and request a lesser level corrective action assuming a valid argument may be made.
- Reflect on educational efforts/lack thereof re: the policy; although staff are responsible for compliance, ensure that foreknowledge of the standard itself existed.
- Ask for three business days in order to compose a written response to attach to the corrective action. This is valuable when internal promotions and transfers may be affected.
- Reserve comments for at least 24 hours; human nature will present the urge to vent during the delivery of the corrective action; remain guarded so that you don’t regret an uninhibited verbal “release”.
- Be bold, confident, and inquisitive; convey a need for clarity to avoid repeat violations via loopholes or misunderstandings.
- Seek information relative to the internal grievance process.
- Ally yourself with a member of team HR, as well as, a leadership representative who agrees to serve as a professional mentor; solicit constructive criticism (priceless advice from those with the employee’s best interest at heart).
- Utilize the Employee Assistance Program; this being an additional venue for third party, neutral feedback to assist with endurance during stressful issues.
- Prioritize understanding your supervisor’s compliance standards; ask for 1:1 time to discuss and ensure you are meeting these expectations.
- Through it all, remain calm and focused. Speaking during “battle” will unleash emotions which should remain private. Bear in mind that employers document behavior during disciplinary discussions to preserve a trail of historical demeanor.
- Look out for number one–YOU! Incongruent values between employee and employer offer validity in keeping career options open and aggressively networking.