Being a supervisor requires from us a lot of hard and soft skills. That’s not an easy role as it seems at a first glance. Except for appraisal and motivation, sometimes you need to punish an employee. Doing it in a right way, so that the person understands their fault and makes a conclusion, may save you a lot of money in the future and what is more valuable – save the business relationship.
According to the Oxford dictionary, a “punishment” is understood as the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offence. A penalty may be in different forms and a manner.
Let’s compare 10 most popular ones I’ve selected for you.
An old form of a penalty – financial: if you made actions (or vice versa didn’t do the necessary activities) that lead to company financial loses, this amount of money will be taken from your monthly income.
The problem is that this type of punishment is not instructive. It neither teaches a new behaviour nor solves a problem. An issue is worked only in the exact situation, but the desired behaviour is not permanently learned unless the person recognizes the impact of the problem and takes responsibility to solve it.
Another one is just a mood or a sight that always convey the necessary feeling: understanding, delight, support, condemnation, anger, etc. Depends on the mood you want to show, a victim can be ashamed just by a glance or saved from self-torture.
They can be said in a private conversation or publicly. Less professional supervisors do it in the presence of others. In this case, the word is sharper than a sword.
Giving a negative feedback personally in the right way makes magic.
Silence. No feedback is a form of a feedback as well. A supervisor can give an employee a possibility and time to think about what had happened and analyze the situation by themselves.
Lack of attention. Not noticing employees who made a mistake is another scenario of punishing employees. But how effective is it?
In my opinion, this is not effective at all because sometimes people even may not realize that they failed.
Voice and intonation. The ability to raise or depress the voice and use the intonation are perfect tools to give comments in the right way. Any word in a positive manner may sound scary if it is pronounced with an appropriate tone.
Bad and not interesting tasks. Nothing kills motivation faster than boring tasks.
Laugh at an employee. Using a dim sort of joke as a punishment doesn’t give you extra points, vice versa it usually damages the reputation of a supervisor.
Laughing at employees is extremely frustrating.
Late-night phone calls and messages.
Of course, if you don’t work in a fire-fighting detachment or an ambulance, don’t treat your employees like they should be at your disposal at a word. We are all human being and have other spheres in our lives.
Respect family and free time of your employees – and they will appreciate that. This is especially important when you have no boundaries with your co-workers or the friendship environment has been established in the office.
That’s a radical solution. However, you’ve already paid guilty to learn on their mistake. So why on Earth set them free?
You will get the desired results by using communication on equal ground with your employees, showing them your confidence and trust, and involving them in finding the right solution.
As leaders in our organizations, why not take the first step toward creating the kind of workplace that values people, not one that punishes them?