In to the employee, such as warnings and

In every
work environment, it is important for Human Resource Managers to create and
instill an effective discipline system for their employees. There are two
disciplinary approaches that companies still enforce today: the punitive and
non-punitive approach. Many companies are shifting away from the punitive
approach because they have witnessed more problems than benefits. The punitive
approach to discipline simply refers to punishment given to the employee, such
as warnings and suspensions. Some companies believe the punitive approach creates
a problematic climate because it makes the managerial staff appear as the “bad
guy”. Also, a major problem with the traditional approach is that it creates an
environment of resentment or apathy; absenteeism and grievances increase, while
communication and trust decline (Campbell, Fleming, & Grote, 1985, p. 168).

With the non-punitive approach, employees must take responsibility of their
actions and commit to producing satisfactory performance if allowed to remain
employed. It is clear that more and more companies are shifting towards a
non-punitive approach because they want a system that provides consistency,
fairness, and lasting corrective measures (Campbell et al, 1985, p. 162). Implementing
this approach allows companies to increase the trust among their employees and productivity.

For example, an employee who is suspended with pay is more than likely to
return and be ready to get right to work. The employee can use that time to
reflect on his or her actions and will return without feeling anger towards the
supervisors. This is one example that illustrates the desire for a non-punitive
approach. A non-punitive approach to discipline requires problem employees to
make a choice: to become either committed employees or former employees; while
the punitive approach takes problem employees, punish them, and leave them
punished problem employees (Campbell et al, 1985, p. 178).

Before determining
the elements of effective performance management, one must first know what this
process entails. The process includes setting clear and specific performance
expectations for each employee and providing periodic informal and formal
feedback about employee performance relative to those stated goals (Managing Employee
Performance, 2015). Performance management is defined as the process through
which managers ensure that employees’ activities and outputs are congruent with
the organization’s goals (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2016, p.

321). To ensure that the organizations system aligns with their goals, they
must first pinpoint what elements are most important. Once determined, they
will then need to measure those elements in order to be able to provide
feedback so employees can adjust their performance to the goals of the company.

There are five important elements, when used collectively, that can evaluate
the effectiveness of performance management systems. These elements are strategic
congruence, validity, reliability, acceptability, and specifity. The most
important element, in my opinion, would be strategic congruence. Strategic congruence
is the extent to which a performance management system elicits job performance
that is congruent with the organization’s strategy, goals, and culture (Noe et
al, 2016, p. 326). If an organization’s focus is revenue, its performance
management system should evaluate the extent of sale growth within the company.

This was evident at my previous employer, Portrait Innovations. With revenue as
the main focus, we had a program on each computer in the store that allowed
employees to view their daily, weekly, and monthly sales and averages. This program
was also a way for managers to review our sales to ensure we maintained the
sales quota of a minimum $140 weekly average.

The second important
element of evaluating performance management systems would have to be
specifity. Specifity is the extent to which a performance measure tells
employees what is expected of them and how they can meet these expectations
(Noe et al., 2016, p. 330). If a performance measure does not specify what the
employee must accomplish for the company to reach their goals, the employee
will not know what to do. Also, if the measure does not pinpoint exactly what
problems the employee has, he or she will not know what is needed to correct
their performance to achieve the organizational goals. 

With
discipline and performance management systems in place, organizations must also
set forth a grievance procedure. A grievance procedure is a means of internal
dispute resolution by which an employee may have his or her grievances
addressed (Grievance Procedures, 2012). Although the grievance procedure has
the same concept in regards to union and non-union processes, there are a few
differences that are important to note. In step one of the grievance procedure,
employees may discuss the problem orally with their supervisor in the non-union
complaint process, while in a union, the union steward and employee may discuss
the problem and then they come together and decide whether the problem has been
resolved (Noe et al., 2016, p. 607). Another difference is evident in the next
step because in a union environment, the employee will be represented by the
union and the union steward will meet with management to discuss the grievance.

In a non-union process, the grievance is simply put in writing and moved along
to the next level of the company hierarchy (Grievance Procedures, 2012). If the
resolution reached by the company is not satisfactory to the employee, he or
she is allowed to submit an appeal to the Human Resource department in a
non-union process. On the other hand, at this time in a union grievance
procedure, a member from higher level management and potentially a higher-level
union representative will review the grievance as set forth by the initial
contract (Grievance Procedures, 2012). As illustrated here, the union grievance
process has a set procedure in place that provides detailed steps to take that
ultimately involves all members of the organizations higher level members. To improve
the non-union grievance process, organizations should first create an effective
and detailed grievance procedure to follow. The company should also be sure to
keep all methods of communication open. It is very important that the employee
is able to contact all members of the grievance committee to ensure that their
issues are resolved or if other questions arise. This would be beneficial in
many different retail jobs because when there is a complaint, the manager is
notified and the employee is left waiting with no contact. Lastly, another
beneficial improvement would be to give employees the option to utilize
alternative grievance methods, such as arbitration, to ensure unbiased
processing and resolution.   

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