Steps for Effective Discipline

by Michael Haberman on March 22, 2011 · 0 comments


One of the biggest puzzle for supervisors and managers is how to deliver discipline effectively and in a way to promote change. I often get asked to deliver some training in this area. The other day I came across a video by Ed Muzio, CEO of Group Harmonics on 6 Steps to Changing Employee Behavior. It is not geared to “discipline” but is certainly a good guideline that can easily be adapted to it. Here are the six steps and my take on what they mean. You can see Muzio present on this subject by clicking on 6 Steps to Changing Employee Behavior. Then you can compare my take with his.

Muzio uses the acronym CCPJLA for the six steps. He said you can remember this by remember “Crazy Corporate People Just Love Acronyms“. This is what they stand for:

  • C- This is the current state. Tell the employee what the current state is. For example, “Bob your production is not meeting the standard the company has set.”
  • C- Change. Tell the employee what change you want to see. “I want to see you increase your productivity by 10% this week.”
  • P- Pure. Keep the message pure. Don’t tone is down by saying “Bob, you are a good guy, but…”
  • J- Just before. Don’t wait until after they have committed the mistake again. On Monday morning take Bob aside and say “Bob, here is what I want you to accomplish this week.”
  • L- Limited Scope. Focus only on the behavior you want to change. Don’t try to change everything about the employee.
  • A- Ask for Feedback. Get agreement from the employee that a problem exists and that they understand what is necessary to correct it.

I will add an additional step. That would be W- Warn. If you have had to go through this process several times and the changes you wanted to see have not occured then you need to warn the employee that without the needed improvement some disciplinary action, up to and including termination, may be occuring.

So  watch Muzio and tell me what you think.

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