Chapter 8Discipline That Pays Off

When Dave learned that his employee lied about some lost invoices, he knew he had to figure out a fair but tough way to address such misbehavior. But he had no idea what to do. Should he berate the individual and demand an apology? Or should he go a step further and write up the incident to add to the personnel file? Then there was the harsh step of employment probation—a more formal and high-stakes way to send a message that Dave would not tolerate lying.

Most new managers have no blueprint to follow when doling out discipline. It’s almost always a judgment call, and that makes it a hornet’s nest in more ways than one. If you’re too soft, you risk inviting more of the same kind of unacceptable actions. If you’re ...

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