FNU When the Transfer Backfires Case Questions

Test Content
Your Life Skills – Case Analysis relates to chapter 15 “Selecting, Appraising, and Discipline
Employees” by Mosley, Pietri and Mosley, designed to reinforce the learning objectives of the
course, and in conjunction with the final exam will provide a measure of your material’s
knowledge and critical thinking skills.
Your questions analysis and preparation will require for you to complete the reading for
Chapter 15
* Answer the following questions 1-5, related to Chapter 15 Case 15-1 “When the Transfer
Name of book for reference: Supervisory Management: The Art of Inspiring, Empowering, and
Donal C Mosley; Donald C. Mosley, Jr; Paul H. Pietri
Reference citation
Mosley, D. C., Jr., D.C. M., & Pietri, P. H. (2018). Supervisory Management: The Art of Inspiring,
Empowering, and Developing (10th ed.). Cengage Learning US.
Each question must be in An APA format, at least 300 words (full page) of writing, and properly
cited APA. Also it should be at least 70% Original, the paper will be submitted via “SafeAssign”
This is a research paper based on the case analysis and requires academic references
(specifically your textbook and STATISTA data base)
Instructions as to how to access STATISTA (Read Carefully)
Your Assignment requires that you submit at least two references one from your
textbook and at least one from the database “STATISTA”
You will be able to access STATISTA database by going to your FNU Library “LIRN” (Access
ID> 24439 / Password> smartlearn39)
– Once you have signed to LIRN
– Go to your Business section
– Type the topic to be searched (As examples) type: Functions and Salaries in the Industry,
Appraisals and Salaries Adjustments.
– You will get search results for your selection
– Click on your selection and it will display information to be used on your assignment
(text, data, graphs, etc)
– It will also give you a window for your citation (choose APA) and copy/paste on your
assignment’s references page
Use the data from the reports to supplement your questions’ answers. Remember that at
least this assignment requires one reference from STATSTA and at least one reference
from your course assigned textbook. Not meeting these referencing requirements will
result in a substantial deduction of points for your paper The “STATISTA”
citation/referencing information from a Blue/Icon should be entered (copied/pasted) just
as it shows up; but if it is the Orange/Icon you will need to enter the citation/referencing
Responsibility for Selecting, Appraising, and Disciplining Employees
An organization can be successful only if it has the right number and types of people to do the required
work. Therefore, a primary duty of all supervisors is the proper selection, placement, employee training
and development, compensation, and utilization of com-petent employees. How well—or poorly—
supervisors perform these functions is a major factor in their success or failure
A Shared Responsibility
Like almost all aspects of supervision, selecting, appraising, and disciplining employees are shared tasks,
though the primary responsibility should be left to supervisors. In general, the responsibilities are
divided as follows:
1. Top managers set human resource objectives, establish policies, and do long-range planning and
2. Middle managers control the operating procedures needed to achieve these objectives and carry out
personnel policies.
3. Supervisors interpret policies for employees and carry out the organization’s wishes for selecting and
training employees. Also, they interpret and transmit workers’ interests to higher management.
With today’s emphasis on empowerment, teams are often used at all three of these lev-els. At a
minimum, it is especially important to have potential fellow employees involved in an advisory role.
The Supervisor’s Role
Operative employees usually have little contact with high-level managers. Therefore, they tend to think
of their supervisor as being “management” or “the organization.” Because employees interpret their
supervisor’s actions, attitudes, and methods as representing those of all managers, supervisors are
probably the most important people in achieving an organization’s human resources objectives.
Supervisors usually have the final word in selecting, appraising, and disciplining employees. They
supervise and control the employees’ daily activities.
Selecting Employees for Specific Job
A suggested procedure for selecting employees is shown in Exhibit 15-1. Individual employers may find
it desirable to modify this procedure—or depart from it—under certain conditions. In this section, each
of the steps listed in the exhibit is briefly explained.
Selection really begins with a requisition from the supervisor to the human resource department. This
requisition, based on the previously prepared job description and specification, is the authorization the
department needs to recruit applicants for the position(s) available. In many small-and medium-sized
firms, the supervisor makes an informal visit or phone call to the senior officer who is authorized to
make the final job offer. A reminder is needed at this point! If you, as a supervisor, are involved in
recruiting and selecting job applicants, all aspects of your procedures must conform to the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.
The guidelines cover all selection procedures, not just testing. Your procedures also should comply with
your Affirmative Action Program (AAP) for hiring people from various groups. The human resource
officer, in particular, should be certain the selection procedure conforms to national and local laws and
customs. When Bryan Seibt accepted the position of Human Resources Director for the City of
Fairhope, Alabama, personal referral was the primary recruiting source used to match individuals with
vacant jobs throughout the city’s various departments. He worked for several years with the
department heads to proactively broaden the applicant pool. A multisource strategy using the city’s
Web site, local and regional newspapers, the state’s league of municipalities’ network, and a variety of
association groups generated more diverse applicants. The result is more diversity within the city’s
departments.1 Preliminary Screening Whether formal or informal, some type of preliminary screening
weeds out those persons who do not seem to meet the employer’s needs—thus saving their time and
yours. This step deals with such obvious factors as educational background, training, experience,
physical appearance, grooming, and speech—if these are relevant to job performance. Also, the
applicant should know something about the organization and the job being sought.
Mike, a bright, young college student, applied at a local hotel for employment while home on summer
break. He was rejected at the preliminary interview because his hair was below his collar—even though
it was neatly pulled back. He was told that even the groundskeepers and dry cleaning plant workers had
to have their hair above their collars. The next year, he was rejected by a grocery chain because he had a
beard. Finally, he did find a lucrative job waiting tables at an English pub—with great tips and free
Application Form or Résumé
After passing the preliminary screening, the job applicant usually completes an application form. (Some
applications are submitted online, by e-mail or snail mail, or in person before preliminary screening.)
The applicant usually lists information such as former employ-ers, titles of jobs held, and length of
employment with each one. Background, education, military status, and other useful data are listed. The
form should be carefully designed to provide the information needed about the applicant’s potential
performance; it should not be a hodgepodge of irrelevant data. The manager of a tire store once told
one of the authors he requires all applicants to fill out an application in person on the premises. “When
they ask to take it home,” he said, “I can be almost sure they cannot read and need help filling it out.”
The EEOC and many states have restrictions concerning the kinds of questions included
on an application form. Therefore, you should check any laws your state may have on such practices.
See Exhibit 15-2 for a list of topics to avoid on application forms and during interviews.
Preemployment Testing Various tests can be used to assess an applicant’s intelligence quotient (IQ),
skills, apti-tudes, vocational interests, personality, and performance. Preemployment testing, espe-cially
“personality” or psychological testing, is growing in use by industry. These tests can minimize turnover
because companies are now trying to hire for “fit” between the workers and employees, and testing can
help them ensure that “fit.” However, the tests must be approved by the EEOC, valid, and reliable. Only
the most popular tests are dis-cussed here.
Types of Tests IQ tests are designed to measure the applicant’s capacity to learn, solve problems, and
understand relationships. They are particularly useful in selecting employees for supervisory and
managerial positions. Aptitude tests are used to predict how a person might perform on a given job and
are most applicable to operative jobs. Vocational interest tests are designed to determine the
applicant’s areas of major work interest. Although interest does not guarantee competence, it can result
in the employee working and trying harder. Personality tests are supposed to measure the applicant’s
emotional adjustment and attitude. These tests are often used to evaluate interpersonal relationships
and see how the person might fit into an organization. Probably the most effective tests the supervisor
can use in selecting operative employ-ees are achievement, proficiency, or skill tests. These tests
measure fairly accurately the applicant’s knowledge of and ability to do a given job. They can also spot
trade bluffers—people who claim job knowledge, skills, and experience they don’t really have. One type
of proficiency test is work sampling or work preview, when the prospective employee is asked to do a
task that is representative of the work usually done on the job. In addition to showing whether the
person can actually do the job, the test gives the applicant more realistic expectations about the job.
Finally, some organizations now test for drug use, especially where the use of drugs by
employees poses a serious safety risk, as in the case of machine operators or airplane pilots. Although
such tests are controversial, they are legal in most states.2
Validity ofTests If tests are used in making the selection decision, employers must be prepared to
demonstrate their validity. Validity is demonstrated by a high positive cor-relation between the
applicant’s test scores and an identifiable measure of performance on the job. Furthermore, the tests
must be designed, administered, and interpreted by a professional (usually a licensed psychologist); be
culturally neutral so they don’t dis-criminate against any ethnic group; and be in complete conformity
with EEOC guide-lines.3
Tests also must have reliability; that is, the results will be the same if the test is
given to the same person by different testers or by the same tester at different times. Care should be
exercised in interpreting test results because some persons are adept at faking answers. Because of
these and other problems, many firms are dropping testing in favor of other selection techniques.
It should be reemphasized at this point that all selection techniques are subject to scru-tiny by the EEOC.
It also should be mentioned that the most frequently used selection criteria are supervisory ratings and
job performance.
Preemployment Interviewing In preparing for the employment interview—that is, the only two-way part
of the selection procedure—you should use the information on the application form and test results to
learn as much as you can about the applicant. A list of questions prepared before the interview can help
you avoid missing information that might be significant in judging the applicant. Compare your list of
questions with the job specification to ensure you match the individual’s personal qualifications with the
job requirements. Some specific questions you might ask are 1. What did you do on your last job? 2.
How did you do it? 3. Why did you do it? 4. Of the jobs you have had, which did you like best? Which the
least? 5. Why did you leave your last job? 6. What do you consider your strong and weak points? 7. Why
do you want to work for us? If you are observant and perceptive during the interview, you can obtain
several impres-sions about the candidate’s abilities, personality, appearance, speech, and attitudes
toward work. You also should provide the applicant with information about the company and the job.
Remember, the applicant needs facts to decide whether to accept or reject the job, just as you need
information to decide whether to offer it. The interview may be carried out individually by the
supervisor or in cooperation structured interviews with someone else—a team member, the human
resource manager, or another senior manager. It may be structured or unstructured. Structured
interviews are standard-ized and controlled with regard to questions asked, sequence of questions,
interpretation of replies, and weight given to factors considered in making the value judgment as to
whether or not to hire the person. In unstructured interviews, the pattern of questions asked, the
conditions under which they are asked, and the basis for evaluating results are determined by the
Not long ago, a former student started a new division within the family business. As part of the hiring
process, she conducted numerous interviews to staff both clerical and pro-duction positions. At first,
there wasn’t a set structure to the interviews. She preferred for the interaction to unfold naturally.
However, she quickly realized how difficult it was to make a decision by comparing the knowledge, skills,
and abilities across applicants for a particular job using this approach. As a result, she structured her
interviews, developing a list of questions to guide her actions. The structured interview setting helped
her better differentiate among applicants.
Checking References and Records
The importance of carefully checking applicants’ references cannot be overemphasized. Reference
checks provide answers to questions concerning a candidate’s performance on
previous jobs. They are helpful in verifying information on the application form and other records, as
well as statements made during the interviews. They are also useful in check-ing on possible omissions
of information and in clarifying specific points. However, many potential employers find former
employers, fearing lawsuits, tend to say nothing—or only nice things—about past employees. In fact,
most former employers will only give dates of employment and position(s) held. Reference checks made
in person or by telephone are greatly preferable to written ones because past employers are sometimes
reluctant to commit to writing any uncompliment-ary remarks about a former employee. Be sure to ask
specific questions about the candi-date’s performance. The type of information you are allowed to seek
is restricted by laws such as the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Privacy Act. But you can check on
dates and terms of employment, salary, whether termination was voluntary, and whether this employer
would rehire the candidate. Many organizations are now using credit checks to obtain information
about prospective employees. If this source is used and is the basis for rejecting a candidate, he or she
has the right to see the report.
Preliminary Selection
by the Supervisor By this point in the selection process, you—the supervisor—have narrowed the
number of candidates to one or a very few. If there is only one, the applicant can be hired on a trial
basis. If you have more than one qualified candidate, a review of the information col-lected should
reveal the best choice. Although your preliminary selection may be subject to approval by the human
resource department or some higher authority, usually the person will be offered the job.
Final Selection
Human resource officers are usually brought in on the final hiring decision because of their expertise.
They ensure that all laws and regulations, as well as company policies, are followed. Also, they have a
voice in such questions as the salary and employee benefits to be offered to the applicant.
Physical Examination
The final step in the selection procedure may be a physical examination to see if the appli-cant can do
the job. However, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information NonDiscrimination Act have limited this part of the process.
Employers may not require an exam before a preliminary job offer is made or ask an appli-cant ifhe/she
has a disability (or the nature ofan obvious disability). Employers can ask the applicant if he/she can
perform the job and if so how, with or without reasonable accom-modations. After making a job offer,
an employer may “condition the offer on the applicant answering certain medical questions or
successfully passing a medical exam, but only if all new employees in the same type ofjob have to
answer the questions or take the exam.” 4
Job Offer
Job offers to applicants for hourly positions are usually made by the human resource office. They are
often in writing and contain the terms and conditions of employment. At this point, the offer is either
accepted or rejected. If it is rejected, an offer may be made to the next most qualified applicant. If there
are no other qualified candidates, the selection pro-cedure must start all over again. After a candidate
accepts the job offer, those not hired should still be kept in mind for possible future openings. It is
common courtesy to notify applicants that someone else has been selected, and a diplomatic rejection
will maintain their goodwill.
The first day on a new job is confusing for anyone. Therefore, new employees should be given a proper
orientation. A job description should be given to them and explained in detail. Proper instructions,
training, and observation starts employees off on the right foot. A tour of the facilities and a look at the
firm’s product or service help new employees understand where they fit into the scheme of things. New
employees need to know the firm’s objec-tives, policies, rules, and performance expectations. Frequent
discussions should be held with them during the orientation program to answer questions and ensure
proper progress. A formal interview with the new employee may be appropriate at some point during
the first week. Other interviews can be held during the probationary period, which is usually from three
to six months long. The purpose of these interviews should be to cor-rect any mistaken ideas the
employee may have about the job and to determine whether he or she feels you and your people are
fulfilling your commitments. After orientation is completed, a checklist is generally reviewed with the
new employee.
Then, the employee and a representative of the employer sign it, and it is placed in the employee’s file
as proof of knowledge of rules. If done properly by the supervisor, orien-tation accelerates the building
of a positive working relationship with the new employee.
A manufacturing company one of the authors worked with had employee retention prob-lems. Even
though turnover is relatively high in this particular industry, this firm seemed to have a higher-thanaverage rate of turnover. Examination of the problem identified a lack of proper socialization of new
employees as one contributing factor. The com-pany developed and implemented a detailed employee
orientation program that includes an initial orientation day when information about the company—
policies, procedures, benefits, and so on—is communicated to all new employees. Each employee is
given a “developmental book” during orientation used in conjunction with the supervisor to track the
development of key task and performance objectives. The supervisor and the newly hired employee
meet regularly each week during the first month to evaluate the employee’s development and address
any concerns. In addition, each person is informally paired with a tenured employee within the work
department who can be relied upon to answer questions and provide guidance. By implementing a
multifaceted socialization process, the manufacturer cut its turnover in half.
Employee Training and Development
Employee training and development are important for both the organization and the employee—so
much so that companies spent over $156 billion in 2011 to develop a “ready” workforce.5 Training is the
process by which employees are educated to improve their capabili-ties, competencies, productivity,
and/or performance. There are needs for training such as safety training, legal compliance, new
technology adoption, and new product knowl-edge, but, regardless of the type of training, the ultimate
goal is for knowledge to transfer to the job. Supervisors tend to perform a significant amount of on-thejob training, especially
for newer employees, but employees also are provided with many off-the-job training opportunities.
Regardless of the location, for training to be effective and learning to take place, the employees need to
be motivated to learn. Keller’s ARCS Model offers a motivationally centered approach to instruction and
training. The ARCS model con-tains four motivational categories: attention (A), relevance (R), confidence
(C), and sat-isfaction (S). These four categories represent sets of conditions that are necessary for a
person to be fully motivated, and each of these four categories has component parts, or subcategories.6
Gaining your employees’ attention so they are “plugged in” is critical. This can be
accomplished in a variety of ways, including presenting a problem to be solved, a trou-bling statistic, or
an unexpected action or image, or simply varying your approach to training. Making the training
relevant to your employees also can be challenging. Adrian Grubb,highlighted in the opening vignette,
had an experience when he was responsible for design-ing and delivering a safety training program with
little support across the organization. Instead of taking a top-down approach and telling the employees
they were required to be trained on “Emergency Action Planning,” he took a personal approach. “We
care about each of you as a person and believe the training on ‘Emergency Action Planning’ will pay
dividends for you and your family, as well as the company. The odds are quite good your family will
encounter some form of natural disaster in the next two years. Are you as pre-pared as you should be?
Do you have young children? Does your family have a rendezvous point? Do you know what you need if
you are evacuating or have to live without city ser-vices for an extended period?” Adrian’s ability to
develop an employee-centered training program ensured the individuals were prepared for natural
disasters on the job as well as at home.
The third aspect of motivating trainees is building their confidence levels. The key is to
set training objectives appropriate for the employee given the subject or skill to be learned. Human
beings are goal-oriented, and, as such, we tend to learn better if we set SMART training goals (Specific,
Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding, and Time defined). SMART goals motivate us to learn new skills and
competencies because we have something to shoot for. The level and types of goals vary depending on
the type of skill or subject as well as the employee’s current level of knowledge, skills, abilities,
competencies, and experiences. If the employee is learning how to operate a machine on which they
have no prior train-ing or experience, the learning goals are simpler to start, becoming more challenging
as the employee demonstrates acquisition of certain knowledge, skills, and competencies. It is
important during the training process to coach your employees, providing the right mix of support and
feedback to increase their confidence as they strive to achieve more challenging goals. Track and review
their progress often, and remember—failure is part of learning. They need to know getting it right the
first time shouldn’t be their goal; rather, giving their all and continuing to develop should be.
Satisfaction, the fourth category, is necessary to sustain your employee’s motivation
to perform the new task. Employees need to be recognized for their success. Recognition might take the
form of verbal praise, certificate of completion, grade, monetary incentive, promotion, or additional
responsibility to demonstrate their acquired skill.
The Role of Performance Appraisals in Supervisory Management
Because performance appraisal is such an important part of the management process, enlightened
managers are now upgrading their appraisal programs. Most employers already have developed some
kind of formal program for improving employee perfor-mance, growth, and development. It should be
strongly emphasized that performance appraisals—when properly designed,
conducted, and discussed with the person being appraised—are beneficial to the employee as well as
the organization. In other words, reviews can be positive and motivational if they are conducted with an
attitude designed to improve performance and help each employee move toward maximizing his or her
potential. Regardless of the appraisal method used, however, the appraisal should be constructive and
future oriented.
What Is a Performance Appraisal? A performance appraisal is the process used to determine to what
extent an employee performs a job in the way it was intended to be done. Other frequently used terms
for this process are merit rating, efficiency rating, service rating, and employee evaluation. Regardless of
the term used, the process always has the purpose of seeing how actual employee performance
compares to the ideal or standard.How a Performance Appraisal Operates If employees’ output can be
physically measured, then their rewards can be based on their actual output and there is little need to
formally appraise them. However, many jobs today do not lend themselves to physical measurement.
Therefore, the supervisor determines what personal characteristics employees have that lead them to
have satisfactory perfor-mance. As you can see from Exhibit 15-3, the process works as follows: An
employee’s personal qualities (1) lead to job behaviors (2) that result in work performance (3), which
the manager appraises (4), and that appraisal results in some kind of personnel action (5). An
employee’s qualities are his or her abilities, attitudes, interests, skills, knowledge,and values. These
qualities lead the employee to take certain actions that result in output or productivity. The manager
appraises the employee’s performance and then may reward the employee through a pay increase,
transfer, promotion, employee training and develop-ment, or career progress. Most human resource
departments now have computerized files on all employees. These management staffing and
development programs should include appraisal criteria and ratings, along with consistent definitions of
skills, level of experience, and develop-ment activity.Purposes of the Performance Appraisal Specific
reasons for appraising employee performance are to (1) recognize “good” perfor-mance; (2) point out
areas that need improvement, especially if the employee hopes to prog-ress in the organization; (3)
validate selection techniques to meet EEOC/AAP requirements; and (4) provide a basis for
administrative actions such as wage increases, promotions, trans-fers, layoffs, and/or discharges.
Appraisal for these purposes is usually done by comparing the performance of one employee to that of
others. Administrative action sometimes takes the form of dealing with managers who have problems,
as well. A well-developed appraisal system can detect “problem managers” in time to take appropriate
Performance appraisals also can be used for communications and motivational purposes, such as to
provide a basis for giving advice, coaching, or counseling so employees have better expectations on the
job or as a basis for career planning and development. When used for these purposes, performance
appraisal is usually done by comparing employees’ actual performance to some previously determined
work standard(s). In such cases, the role of the supervisor is that of a counselor, mentor, or instructor,
and the appraisal serves to motivate employees by giving them a better understanding of their job
responsibilities, of what is expected of them, and of their training needs.
The Role of the Appraisal Interview Most organizations cannot afford poor performance and workers
cannot afford poor reviews. One way to satisfy both these requirements is for the supervisor to conduct
an appraisal interview to communicate the results of a given performance appraisal to an employee.
This method is compatible with the objective of providing feedback on work-ers’ progress and
encouraging improvement on the job. However, conducting the appraisal interview is the job aspect
supervisors like least. This dislike, together with the poor way the appraisal interview often is handled,
has caused this interview to be criticized heavily for damaging relationships between supervisors and
employees. One of the main problems with such interviews is that too much is expected of them. The
interview alone cannot improve performance; uncover training needs; and serve as the basis for pay
increases, promotions, and so forth—but it can certainly help! The appraisal interview is one of the most
difficult duties required of a supervisor.
Such an interview used to be along the lines of “Call Joe in and tell him what needs to be straightened
out and what’s expected of him.” Today, however, interviewers are expected to aim for cooperation,
constructiveness, and greater understanding.10
tends to happen during the typical interview, even though it is conducted according to the rules of good
performance-appraisal interviewing.
Once a year, Gloria Rogers calls her employees in one at a time for the appraisal inter-view. Both parties
tend to “psych up” for this event. Rogers plans what she’s going to say, and the employee tends to be
apprehensive about what he or she is going to hear. At the beginning, Rogers tries to put the employee
at ease by talking about the weather, the latest major league baseball game, or the employee’s family.
The employee knows this is just the prelude to getting down to serious business—and tends to resent
the delay.
Then Rogers explains her overall appraisal in broad terms. Initially, she’ll mention a few good aspects of
the employee’s performance and give the employee a chance to express his or her views. Next, she
enumerates the employee’s weaknesses and past failures. She allows the employee to explain these.
Then, she explains what steps are needed to improve the employee’s performance. At this point, she
may ask for the employee’s ideas on improvement. One variation of the procedure allows the employee
to give his or her own self-evaluation and compare it with Rogers’ evaluation after it is given. The
conventional approach to the appraisal interview is emotionally upsetting for both
the supervisor and the employee. There is no doubt in the employee’s mind he or she is in the hot seat
and that there’s little point in disagreeing with the supervisor about her judgments. It’s best simply to
remain submissive and accept the criticism, even if the employee disagrees with it. Supervisors likewise
tend to feel anxiety over performance appraisal because, as management theorist Douglas McGregor
points out, Managers are uncomfortable when they are put in the position of “playing God.” . . . [We
become] distressed when we must take responsibility for judging the personal worth of a fellow man.
Yet the conventional approach to performance appraisal forces us not only to make such judgments and
to see them acted upon, but also to communicate them to those we have judged. Small wonder we
resist. It is fairly common practice for employers to require managers to discuss their appraisals with
employees. The authors of this textbook have talked with numerous supervisors who suffer the doublebarreled discomforts of performance appraisal. These supervisors dislike being appraised by their own
bosses, and they dislike appraising their employees—or at least telling them the results. All this may
lead to appraisal inflation. For example, in one company, when a policy was adopted requiring
supervisors to give their appraisals to their employees, their appraisals of their employees suddenly
jumped remarkably.12 Another important aspect of performance appraisals is that they should contain
aspects of career planning for the employee. In other words, the appraisal should help the employee
plan for the future. In summary, the appraisal interview presents both an opportunity and a potential
dan-ger for the supervisor because both praise and constructive criticism must be communicated. A
major effort should be made to emphasize the positive aspects of the employee’s performance while
also discussing ways to make needed improvements. One classic study showed a group of employees,
who took some form of constructive action as a result of performance appraisals, did so because of the
way their supervisor conducted the appraisal interview and discussion.13 effective interview.
Exhibit 15-4 provides some helpful hints for conducting a more effective interview.
The Need for Discipline
Effective job performance requires both managerial and hourly employees to maintain dis-cipline. Most
employees would rather work with a group that is well organized, trained, and disciplined than with one
that is not. Employees benefit from discipline and suffer from disorder. An early study found that,
although workers do not necessarily want to be per-sonally punished, they do want to be supervised
“not too much—but also not too little.”14 Successful supervisors know how to find the “middle road”
that allows their employees to know exactly what they may and may not do. These generalizations may
lead to confusion unless the question “What is discipline?” is answered.
What Is Discipline?
To start out, let us emphasize that good discipline is based on good leadership. On that assumption, the
term discipline is used in this chapter to refer to any of three concepts: (1) self-control, (2) conditions
leading to orderly behavior in a work environment, or (3) punishment for improper behavior. Many
companies say in their discipline policy discipline is training that corrects, molds, or perfects knowledge,
attitudes, behavior, or conduct. We agree with this overall definition.
Discipline as Due Process
The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees every citizen due process under the
law. Essentially, the following conditions ensure an individual receives justice in the form of due process:
1. Rules or laws exist.
2. There are specific, fixed penalties for violating those rules, with progressive degrees in the severity of
3. Penalties are imposed only after a hearing has been conducted for the accused, at which time the
extent of guilt is determined after considering the circumstances of the situation.
Unions insisted this same process be used within organizations in disciplining employ-ees; even
nonunion employers now use it. Today, most arbitrators uphold a disciplinary action if it can be shown
that (1) the rules are reasonable, (2) the penalty is related to the severity of the offense, and (3) the
worker was given a fair hearing. Underlying the due pro-cess concept is the assumption the employer
has the right to maintain a well-disciplined work environment and administer discipline when rules are
violated. Of course, where there’s a union, its representative wants to be present when a member is
disciplined. At this point, we want to emphasize that employers can avoid employee grievance
proceedings by developing equitable and objective disciplinary procedures.
How Disciplinary Due Process Operates
As indicated earlier, disciplinary due process involves three steps. First, rules are estab-lished. Second,
fixed penalties are set for each infraction of a rule (the penalties usually vary according to the degree of
severity of the offense and how many times the rule is bro-ken). Third, the penalty is imposed only after
the employee has been given a fair hearing.
Establishing Rules of Conduct
If employees are to maintain self-discipline, they must know what they can and cannot do, and they
must know it in advance. Therefore, most progressive organizations publish rules, usually in their
employee handbook.
Determining Penalties
The types of penalties, as well as the ways they are used, are determined in consultation with the union.
What usually results is termed progressive discipline because it involves a graduated scale of penalties. If
there is no union, the penal-ties stem from management’s philosophy of how to treat employees, as
well as from its fear of the entry of a union or government action. The normal steps in a progressivediscipline policy are
1. Oral warning that does not go into the employee’s record.
2. Oral warning that goes into the employee’s record.
3. Written reprimand, which usually comes from some level above the supervisor.
4. Suspension, which usually consists of a layoff lasting from a day to a number of months
5. Discharge, the ultimate penalty, which constitutes a break in service and wipes out the employee’s
seniority. Most supervisors are reluctant to use it because it is the economic equivalent of the death
penalty and affects the worker’s family as well as the worker. Justification must be strictly established
because discharge is almost always subject to the grievance procedure and arbitration.
Several other infrequently used penalties are demotions, transfers, and the withholding
of benefits such as promotions, raises, or bonuses. Unions, personnel managers, and most supervisors
favor using a graduated scale of penalties, under which punishment for a given violation becomes
progressively more severe each time the violation is repeated. The penalty may be, first, an oral
warning; second, a written warning; third, suspension; and fourth, discharge. However, when the
disciplinary problems are of such a drastic, dangerous, or illegal nature they severely strain or endanger
employment relationships, they are called intolerable offenses, and the first time one is committed, the
employee is discharged.
Imposing the Penalty Only after a Fair Hearing Supervisors must follow the cor-rect procedure in taking
any action against an employee. In other words, discipline must be properly administered in accordance
with previously established and announced rules and procedures. Penalties should be based on specific
charges, with notice given to the employee and the union, if there is one, in advance of management’s
attempt to take cor-rective action. The charges and their underlying reasons should be definite and
provable. There should be provisions for a prompt hearing, witnesses, protests, and appeals. Finally,
adequate remedies should be available to employees whose punishment has failed to meet the
requirement of “fair play.” In summary, the main requirements for a proper disciplinary procedure are
to (1) make definite charges; (2) notify the employee (and union), in writing, of the offense; and (3) have
some provision for the employee to answer the charges either by protest or by appeal.
The Supervisor and Discipline
Regardless of whether supervisors work in unionized firms, they must exercise discre-tion when
recommending or imposing penalties on employees. In dealing with mistakes, supervisors must consider
what the mistakes were and under what circumstances they were made. Mistakes resulting from
continued carelessness call for disciplinary action. Honest mistakes should be corrected by counseling
and positive discipline, not by punishment. These should be corrected in a way that helps the employee
learn from the mistakes and become a more proficient and valuable worker.
In light of recent incidences of violence in the workplace, supervisors need to be proac-tive in
establishing boundaries, identifying problems, counseling employees, and taking corrective actions.
Violent behaviors at work are not random acts. These types of behaviors are caused by a series of events
that occur over time and come to a head. In most cases, coworkers and supervisors were aware that it
was just a matter of time before the person“snapped.” First-line supervisors are the key to preventing
workplace violence. How they choose to deal with issues and handle employees can have an impact.16
The Supervisor’s Disciplinary Role
One of the primary duties of present-day supervisors is to maintain discipline. Top manag-ers expect—
and depend on—their supervisors not only to set disciplinary limits but also to enforce them. Only then
does an organization operate effectively. To achieve this goal, supervisors must instill a desire for selfdiscipline in employees.
If employees are not required to face up to the realities of their jobs, goals, resources, and their
potential, then they are in a poor position to function properly and make their best contribution to the
organization. It’s surprising how quickly organizational problems melt away when interpersonal
forthrightness is applied. When applying discipline, a supervisor must consider these points:
1. Every job should carry with it a certain margin for error. 2. Being overly concerned with avoiding
errors stifles initiative and encourages employ-ees to postpone decisions or avoid making them
3. A different way of doing something should not be mistaken for the wrong way of doing it. Supervisors
are more likely than higher-level managers to avoid administering severe
disciplinary action because of the likelihood of generating undesirable effects. Other man-agers,
including some personnel managers, take a stronger—perhaps more punitive—position on matters of
discipline. A possible explanation is that supervisory managers are inclined to give stronger
consideration to individual circumstances and behavior than are top managers. Also, supervisors are
somewhat reluctant to follow rules strictly for fear they’ll lose the cooperation of their employees if
they’re too severe.
Principles of Effective Discipline: The Hot-Stove Rule
Four important principles of effective discipline are discussed in this section. These prin-ciples are often
referred to as the hot-stove rule because they draw a comparison between touching a hot stove and
experiencing discipline.17
Here are the four principles:
1. You know what will happen if you touch a hot stove (it carries a clear warning).
2. If you touch a hot stove, it burns you right away (it is immediate).
3. A hot stove always burns you if you touch it (it is consistent).
4. A hot stove doesn’t care whom it burns (it is impersonal).
Discipline Carries a Clear Advance Warning
Employees should know what is and is not expected of them. This means there must be clear warning
that a given offense leads to discipline, and there must be clear warning of the amount of discipline
imposed for an offense.
Supervisor C. D. Yates (name has been changed) had long ignored a safety rule that employees wear
short-sleeved shirts while operating their machines. In fact, for over a year, several employees routinely
worn long-sleeved shirts in the department. After learning of an injury in another department when an
employee’s long-sleeved shirt got caught in a conveyor belt, Yates immediately wrote up warnings to
five employees in his department who wore long-sleeved shirts that day.
Discipline Is Immediate
The supervisor should begin the disciplinary process as soon as possible after he or she notices a
violation. This is important for several reasons:
1. An employee may feel he or she is “putting one over” on the supervisor and try to vio-late other rules.
2. An employee may assume the supervisor is too weak to enforce the rules.
3. An employee may believe the supervisor doesn’t consider the rule important enough to be enforced.
Thus, all the other employees may be encouraged to break or stretch the rule as well. It is not surprising
to find an employee responding, “Well, I’ve been doing this for several days (or weeks) and nobody said
anything about it to me before.”
Discipline Is Consistent This principle means for similar circumstances, similar dis-cipline should be
administered. If two people commit the same offense under the same circumstances, they should
receive the same punishment. Helen had a high absenteeism record. Recently she missed work for two
days without a legitimate excuse. Considering her past record, this offense justified an immediate oneweek suspension. However, her skills were badly needed by the supervisor because the department was
snowed under by a tremendous backlog ofwork. Helen was given only an oral warning.
What will Helen’s supervisor do when another worker misses work for two days without a legitimate
excuse? If supervisors are inconsistent, then they will develop a reputation for playing favorites and
losing credibility with employees. Does this mean a supervisor always has to dish out identical penalties
for similar offenses? Note: we said the supervisor must be consistent as long as circumstances are
similar. An employee’s past record is a major factor to consider.
Two employees were caught drinking an alcoholic beverage on the job. The rules clearly prohibited this.
For one employee, it was the first such offense; for the second worker, it was his third in the past year.
Would the supervisor be justified in giving the second employee a more serious penalty than the first?
You better believe it! common mistakes supervisors make in imposing discipline are apologizing to
employees and chastising employees. Discipline the act, not the person. Your focus should be on getting the employee’s work behavior consistent with the rules. Applying Discipline Two of the more
unpleasant aspects of the supervisor’s job are (1) laying off a worker for disciplinary reasons and (2)
discharging an unsatisfactory employee.
Disciplinary Layoff
If an employee repeatedly commits major offenses and previous warnings have been ineffective, a
disciplinary layoff, or suspension, is probably inevitable. Such a layoff involves a loss of time—and pay—
for several days. This form of discipline usually comes as a rude shock to workers. It gets their attention!
Generally, it impresses on the employee the need to comply with the organization’s rules. Because this
form of discipline is quite serious and involves a substantial penalty—loss
of pay—most organizations limit the power to use it to managers who have attained at least the second
level of management; often the human resources manager is involved as well. Yet supervisors have the
right to recommend such action.Not all managers believe the layoff is effective, and some seldom apply
it as a disciplinary measure. First, they may need the worker to continue production. Second, they may
feel the worker will return with an even more negative attitude. Still, when properly used, it is an
effective disciplinary tool.
In 1884, a Tennessee court established the termination-at-will rule, whereby an employer could dismiss
an employee for any reason—or no reason at all—unless there was an explicit contractual provision
preventing such action.The reasoning behind this decision was if an employee can quit work for any
reason, then the employer should be able to discharge for any reason.
Subsequent legislative enactments and court decisions, as well as union rules and pub-Most union
agreements have a clause lic policy, swung the pendulum of protection away from the employer and
toward the employee by limiting the termination-at-will rule.requiring “just cause” for disciplinary
discharge and detailing the order in which employ-ees can be laid off. EEO/AA regulations do essentially
the same. In general, court decisions suggest the safest (legal) grounds for discharge include
incompetent performance that does not respond to training or accommodation, gross or repeated
insubordination, excessive unexcused absences, repeated and unexcused tardi-ness, verbal abuse of
others, physical violence, falsification of records, drunkenness or drug abuse on the job, and theft.
Because discharge is so severe, supervisors can only recommend it. The discharge must be carried out
by top management—usually with the advice and consent of the human resources manager. Unions are
quite involved in discipline when they represent the employees. Even many nonunionized organizations
now follow the union’s disciplinary procedure.
Supervisors’ Personal Liability for Disciplining Employees Recent court decisions holding supervisors
personally liable for discharging disabled employees are making some supervisors reluctant to exercise
their judgment in hiring, promoting, and firing employees. They are unwilling to take the punitive action
indicated for unsatisfactory actions of employees if their personal assets, such as their houses or cars,
can become subject to steep jury awards. Supervisors have been held individually liable in some blatant
and serious sex and race harassment cases.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
FNU When the Transfer Backfires Case Questions
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay
Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
Live Chat+1(978) 822-0999EmailWhatsApp

Order your essay today and save 20% with the discount code LEMONADE