Sharing Ideas, Inspiring Changes


No employee likes to face disciplinary actions and at present it can be evident that supervisors and managers dislike taking disciplinary actions at the same time. Unfortunately disciplinary actions play a massive role in maintaining the organisational culture and standards. If both managers and subordinates dislike the involvement of disciplinary actions and the next best alternative would be to promote ‘Self Discipline’ throughout the entire organisation in order to maintain a healthy employer-employee relationship and a smooth functioning entity.

It’s up to the organisation to create a work environment and supervisory interactions that encourage the people you employ to develop and practice self-discipline. The theory behind this would be that the need for supervisory intervention, or discipline imposed externally, is minimized. Supervisors get to spend their time on the fun stuff: encouraging, developing, and relationship-building.

Given below are a few tips and tricks that can be used to develop the concept of Self-discipline among your fellow employees.

• Be specific and clear:

People need to know exactly what is expected of them. If you want to see continuous improvement, initiative, and problem solving, let them know. At the same time it is important to let them be flexible with their work and provide them with necessary freedom to explore their work area. In addition, spend time with new employees talking about what is important to you and your organisation as it can be a useful guideline to start with.

• Show that you appreciate the initiative:

Who doesn’t like to be appreciated? Offering support and making sure the idea or process is implemented, telling the person how much you appreciate their contribution motivates employees to keep up with their good work. Even rewarding the person in ways that are important to the individual such as monitory incentives, time off, time and attention from the supervisor, a special assignment, a committee leadership role, or a training and personal development opportunity can act as driving forces for not only the specific individual but their co-workers as well.

• Practice equality as much as possible:

Think about how you want to be treated. Every employee appreciates an environment with minimal rules and guidelines, only the policies necessary to ensure an ordered, fair, consistent work environment. They want to provide input about any decision that involves themselves or their work. All want to be treated with respect. They want work to provide more than just a paycheck. Work contributes to social needs; most people want to feel as if they are contributing to something greater than themselves. People prefer to smile when they think about going to work; the best workplaces promote individual and group success and raise the self-esteem of staff members.

• Always be open to communication:

Get the inputs of your subordinates before implementing a new policy. Hold focus groups to gauge the reaction of staff to potential new guidelines. Discuss new policies in staff or team meetings. Allow time for questions and discussion. Then, enforce policies as consistently as possible. Make your workplace a safe place for people to try out thoughtful, new ideas. It is important that your employees are clear that they are not "punished" when a well-thought-out idea fails to work as intended. Provide a budget for staff to spend on new ways of working. Spend time meeting with staff members regularly. Walk through your work area regularly. Encourage open communication between you and the people who report to you. Communicate all of the information that is available about your business, your customers, your profitability, and your mission and vision. Share the organisation's overall goals. The more people know the more they can act independently to help you.

No matter the changes you do within your organisation to promote self-discipline, it is important to keep in mind that it is human nature to make mistakes. Hence taking necessary actions when needed at the right time is crucial for the smooth functioning of any organisation.