Managing repeat offenders in the workplace


I am often asked to help deal with a troublesome employee where the ‘trouble’ has been going on for some time. But there is no record of any previous counselling or disciplinary action. Can anything be done?

In a small organisation, or where happy relationships between staff and managers are the norm, minor slipups are often ignored or informal warnings are given:

‘Hey! You know you aren’t allowed to do that.’

‘You didn’t get the customer to sign the order. That could cause huge trouble. Don’t do it again.’

After all, everyone’s allowed an off day, surely? But eventually it all adds up until you have absolutely had enough.

The latest issue may not be serious on its own but, put together with everything else, it seems the employee is either disinterested or incompetent. So you call your consultant, and that’s when you have to confess to the absence of written records.

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[Image courtesy of stockimages/FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

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About Ian Webster

I have been running my own consultancy (Simply Communicate) for five years – training and consulting in all things people management and development. Prior to that I was 16 years in corporate HR in a unionised environment becoming Training Manager and Human Resources Manager. I have a Degree in Theology and a post-graduate diploma in Human Resources Management.

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