HR & Labour Law Specialists

Effective and Constructive Discipline in the Workplace

A practical guide for effective discipline in the workplace


Course Objectives

A practical course on discipline in order to: 

  • Train initiators/complainants to conduct an effective pre – investigation when an alarm is triggered
  • Train initiators/complainants to draft charge sheets
  • Train initiators/complainants to prepare for a disciplinary hearing
  • Train initiators/complainants to lead evidence and cross examine
  • Train chairpersons to conduct disciplinary hearings effectively
  • Train chairpersons to draft findings  

Many organisations are issued with costly compensation or even re-instatement orders from the CCMA or Bargaining Councils due to Line Managers and HR staff not complying with legislation and/or Company policies & procedures regarding disciplinary matters.

This may be as a result of the outcome of either an internal disciplinary hearing or when a dispute is referred to the CCMA or the Bargaining Council.

This comprehensive course provides detailed insight into discipline in the workplace. The course will assist managers how to effectively address the whole disciplinary process from when the incident occurs, through the pre-investigation phase until a final decision is made.

Many cases are lost due to impulsive or emotional behaviour displayed by managers due to ignorance for the legal process of either procedural and/or substantive fairness.

The course provides a practical hands-on approach for dealing with discipline. How to conduct disciplinary hearings in line with the principles of fairness and equity as envisaged by the Labour Relations Act is covered. 

Misconduct issues of absenteeism, intoxication on duty, theft and other types of misconduct are dealt with. 

The course also covers how managers can deal with issues of poor performance such as incompetence and/or a bad attitude in the workplace in order to reduce the risk of non-conformance which ultimately leads to financial prejudice.

Medical incapacity and prolonged illness in the workplace is also becoming a common issue that managers need to deal with. 

Course Outline

  1. Employers – General duties and responsibilities
  2. Employers – Legal responsibilities in the work place
  3. Employees – General duties and responsibilities
  4. Management/Leadership styles required for effective and constructive discipline
  5. How not to behave as a Manager/Leader
  6. How to behave as a Manager/Leader
  7. Aligning Employee/Employer and Customer needs in order to establish an integrated and cohesive working environment
  8. The importance of consequence management & consistent application of Company rules and procedures
  9. Rules, instructions, meetings, negotiations – the critical importance of clarification in order to ensure consistency
  10. Why Management and Unions clash – The dynamics of companies vis a vis unions
  11. An integrated and cohesive working environment – Where does a Manager/Leader find the rules
  12. Discipline – based on fairness
  13. Internal rules on expected behaviour
  14. The disciplinary process and steps required for effective disciplinary investigations and hearings
  15. Sanctions
  16. Parties involved in a disciplinary hearing
  17. The role of the chairperson
  18. The role of the initiator/complainant
  19. The role of the representative
  20. Performance management – How to deal with personal problems, misconduct, incapacity and incompetence and probation
  21. Practical application – case studies
  22. Practical application – role plays

More Information

  1. Let me introduce myself:
    • My name is William Neuwenhuis and I have been involved with HR for 30 years in roles as HR Manager, HR Director and Group HR Director
    • At HR Support we work on a value proposition of professionalism, Integrity and respect which is non-negotiable.
  1. The Course – it is also my passion as I want to assist organisations to develop young managers to become actual leaders:
    • I developed this course as I have found that there is a void in the education system with respect to management development – managers are mainly trained in structures, policies and procedures but that is not enough.
    • During the course we address the normal aspects in training Managers how to do disciplinary policies, procedures, doing investigations, prepare for a hearing, the responsibilities on the initiator and chairperson, sanctions etc, etc – we also allow participants to practice what they have learned through case studies and role plays,
    • A further objective of the course is to try to illustrate and train managers and employees the importance of “living their values’ rather than ” talking their values”,
    • Over the years I noticed that what Line Managers often referred to as the “soft issues” (Company culture, values, leadership positive interpersonal behaviour) were and often still are really the critical issues in developing an inclusive work environment where employees feel valued and safe which have a severe impact on productivity and profitability,
    • I often found Managers were/are very reliant on their “positional power “as managers due to the fact that they lack the training in order to be actual leaders. Due to the aforementioned they are very pedantic and use discipline and performance management as punitive tools to manage though fear – this often leads to conflict, mistrust and disputes,
    • What make this course different is that we also address the importance of leadership through constructive behaviour and discipline in order to develop in culture of positive intent where the psychological needs of employees are understood and supported. The objective of this is to create a culture where employees do not only “work to live “but rather “live to work  –  once this is achieved one immediately notices an increase in productivity, reduction in waste and less down time
    • Managers further tend to forget the concept and importance of consequence management when mistakes are made and the effect of such on profitability and company image – mistakes in the workplace is often just accepted as something that happened and not constructively addressed though investigations and discussion with the guilty party – this creates a culture where employees are not really being worried about quality of work as they know nothing will happen – we try to illustrate the impact of such behaviour on profitability.
    • Over the years I have also found that Employers were getting very frustrated with Unions and this often resulted in serious conflict – during the course we try to illustrate the dynamics of unions and the importance of positive collaboration rather defending respective positions due to inherent conflict. Unions do not have to be friends or enemies but they can be engaged as “partners” through positive intent and constructive engagement.
  1. Course duration:
    • One day.
  1. Venue:
    • In-house as participants will interact with each other during case studies and role plays.
  1. Who should attend:
    • All managers
    • I would recommend that if we do run the course for your managers and there is buy in from them the course be also extended in a lesser form to employees as behaviour will only change when all are aligned – this will obviously be a management decision and can be done over a period of time.
  1. Cost:
    • R2450,00 per participant but can be discussed depending on number of participants.
    • Travel and accommodation (if required) will be for the Client’s account.

Contact our head office should you require any further information | 021 851-4265.