Modern Alternatives to Discipline in the Workplace
Modern alternatives to pure discipline:
Discipline in business, the way it is practiced today, is a consequence of the employer seeing an employee as a ‘commodity’, an input cost to his business. The employee on the other hand sees himself/herself as having rights. Neither can see the reality that business only happens where people are. Nature has seeds that reproduce living things. The seed of business is the people themselves. This seed becomes weak when people are not seen for what they really need to be. We need to have the qualities of openness, skill, experience, patience, courage, selflessness, diligence, clarity, objectivity, love, ownership of self and positivity, in greater influence within us, if we want to add more seed power to what we are part of in any sphere of life. Losing focus on this to focus on our rights is a seed power depleting approach.
What happens between employer and employee today is that the employer uses the Law to manage staff, while the employee uses their rights and the CCMA to identify themselves; rather than the seed strengthening qualities of the human being. The human being is really lost within this battle. The business does worse, and the employee does not learn what is possible to learn. The employee gets dismissed, the employer becomes part of the skills shortage problem.
The very fibre of modern social structure needs to work out that the human being is much more than we are currently being led to believe.
In principle therefore one could offer the following alternative to pure discipline:
- Make out the charges in law; and
- Show these to the employee and explain the consequences; and
- Cost out the effect of the misdemeanour; and
- Show this to the employee so that they get the chance to really grasp it; and
- Offer the employee the alternative to pay something of the cost consequences or face the law.
The first choice should be the cost contributing route, as, in this way, the employee can stay employed and learn more. The reality might be that a staff member has a conscience, but they cannot learn more and repeat mistakes. The fallback for the employer is always the law then. The possibility that the costs of repayment for the misdemeanour becomes too great a part of their remuneration also exists. Again, the law route would have to take precedence. However, where there are people who can learn from their mistakes and get the chance to gain experience by staying employed at a cost to them, both the employee and the employer will gain over time. The employee will become more employable as a consequence of developing new skills, experience and inner qualities, and the employer or the organisation will have great benefits from a stronger seed.