2. The word Discipline comes from the Latin
term disciplina which means teaching, learning
Discipline does not mean strict observance or
rigid rules and regulations.
It simply means working, cooperating and
behaving in a normal and orderly way, as any
reasonable person would expect an employee to
3. Discipline is defined as a training or
molding of the mind and character to bring
about desired behaviours.
Discipline refers to working in accordance
with certain recognized rules, regulations
and customs, whether they are written or
implicit in character.
4. To obtain a willing acceptance of the rules, regulations and
procedures of an organization.
To impart an element of certainty despite several differences in
informal behavior patterns and other related changes in an
To develop among the employees a spirit of tolerance and a desire
to make adjustments
To give and seek direction and responsibility
To create an atmosphere of respect for the human personality and
To increase the working efficiency and morale of the employees.
Aims & Objectives Of Discipline
5. 1. Self-controlled discipline: In the case of self-controlled
discipline, the employee brings her or his behaviour into
agreement with the organizations‘ official behaviour
code i.e. the employee regulates their own activities for
the common good of the organization.
1. Enforced discipline: In the case of enforced discipline
a managerial action enforces employee compliance with
organizations rules and regulations, i.e. it is a common
discipline imposed from the top.
Types Of Discipline
6. Have a positive attitude: The manager‘s attitude is very
important in preventing or correcting undesirable behavior.
Therefore the manager must maintain a positive attitude by
expecting the best from the staff.
Investigate carefully: If a staff nurse is disciplined unfairly or
unnecessarily, the effects on the entire staff nurse may be severe.
Therefore managers must proceed with caution. They should
collect facts, check allegations, and even ask the accused
employees for their side of the story.
Be prompt: If the disciplinary action is delayed, the relationship
between the punishment and the offense becomes less clear.
Principles Of Disciplinary Action
7. Protect privacy: Disciplinary actions affect the ego of
the staff nurse. Discussing the situation in private,
causes less resentment and greater chance for future co-
Focus on the act: When disciplining a staff, the
manager should emphasize that it was the act that was
unacceptable, not the employee.
Enforce rules consistently: Consistency reduces the
possibility of favorism, promotes predictability, and
fosters acceptance of penalties.
8. Advise the employee: The employees must be
informed that their conduct is not acceptable.
Take corrective, consistent action: The manager
should be sure that the staff nurse understands that the
behavior was contrary to the organizations
Follow up: The manager should quietly investigate to
determine whether the staff nurse behavior has
changed. If not, the manager should determine the
reason for the nurse‘s attitude.
9. Codes of conduct: The employees must be informed of codes of
conduct. Agency handbooks, policy manuals, and orientation
programs may be used.
Authorized penalties: The agency‘s disciplinary action program
should indicate that the current action is being administered
without bias and is directly related to the offense.
Records of offences and corrective measures: The personnel
record should clearly indicate the offense, management‘s efforts to
correct the problem and the resulting penalties.
Right of appeal: Formal provision for right of employee appeal is
a part of each disciplinary action program.
Components Of A Disciplinary Action Program
10. Oral reprimands: For minor violations that may have occurred
for the first time, managers may opt give an oral warning in
private. When oral warning is given, the nurse manager is advised
to make an anecdotal record of time, place, occasion and gist of the
Written reprimand: If the offense is more severe or repeated, the
reprimand may be written. The written notice should include the
name of the employee, name of manager, nature of the problem,
the plan for correction, and consequences of future repetition. The
employee has to sign it, to indicate that the employee has read it. A
copy should be given to the employee and one retained for the
11. o Fines may be charged for offences such as tardiness.
o Loss of privileges might include transfer to a less desirable shift
and loss of preference for assignments.
o Demotion is a questionable solution. It creates hard feelings which
may be contagious and more likely places offenders in a position
for which they are overqualified.
o Suspension: for a period of time
o Withholding increment
13. Constructive discipline (positive discipline): Uses discipline as a
means of helping the employees grow, not as a punitive measure.
The primary emphasis here is assisting employees to behave in a
manner that allows them to be self-directive in meeting
Destructive discipline (also called enforced or negative
discipline): If employees are forced to follow the rules and
regulations of the organization by inducing fear in them, then it is
termed as negative discipline
CONSTRUCTIVE VS DESTRUCTIVE DISCIPLINE
14. Disciplinary action may be ineffective because of methodological
weakness or of procedural omissions by the manager. Methodological
problems result from improper documentation of disciplinary interview
and procedural problems from failure to apply discipline in a timely
fashion and to follow due process.
Disciplinary Conference: It is a group discussion using both directive
and non-directive interview techniques. It is damaging to employee‘s
self-esteem to receive criticism from an authoritative figure. Thus a
disciplinary conference is anxiety provoking situation for both employee
and the manager.
Disciplinary letter: It is a letter sent to the nurse/employee immediately
after the conference, documenting the interview content from the
manager‘s viewpoint. It is needed as sometimes employee‘s anxiety may
block perception of the painful feedback offered by the manager.
Dealing With Disciplinary Problems
15. Model standing orders: It specifies the terms and conditions which
govern day to day employer-employee relationship, infringement of
which could result in a charge of misconduct
Errors in disciplining employees: The frequent errors encountered
while disciplining the employees are:
Delay in administering discipline
Ignoring rule violation in hope that it is an isolated event
Accumulations of rule violations, causing irritated manager to ―blow
Administering sweetened discipline
Failure to administer progressively severe sanctions
Failure to document disciplinary actions accurately
Imposing discipline disproportionate to the seriousness of the offense
Acts amounting to crimes Eg. Bribery, corruption
Acts amounting to misdemeanor Eg. Misbehavior,
Acts amounting to misconduct Eg. Violation of conduct
rules or standing orders
Omissions Eg. Habitual late attendance,
Causes Of Disciplinary Proceedings
17. Preliminary enquiry
Decision to start formal
Charge sheet and its service
Appointment of enquiry officer
Written statement of defense
Recording of evidence by the
Personal hearing of charged
Report of enquiry officer
Stages Of Disciplinary Proceeding Enquiry
Show cause notice by the
Reply to show-cause notice
and decision thereon
Review of punishment order
Appeal or revision
Reinstatement and restitution
Show-cause notice against
withholding of emoluments
for suspension period in the
case of a reinstated