The Discipline Dilemma
You were recently promoted to Internal Audit Director and now manage a team of 12 individuals; they are professional employees who range in title from Administrative Assistant to Audit Manager. They are highly educated and very experienced. Your staff routinely travels to over 200 global locations performing internal audits on the company’s facilities.
Elizabeth, one of your Audit Managers, has been with the company for over 10 years. She is habitually absent from work, Monday or Friday being her favorite day to call in. Before you were promoted, the previous Director did not address the situation, and she has a total of 36 absences in the past 12 months. Her work gets done, but you notice periodically that she functions in “crisis mode” in order to meet deadlines, and it affects her coworkers’ workloads. Her behavior is impacting the morale in your department.
You are considering disciplinary action. The company has no formal attendance policy. Employees do not earn a bank of sick days. They are expected to attend work unless there are emergency circumstances. Extended absences (more than three consecutive days) are considered a short-term disability and require documentation.
You have three options – you can discipline, dismissal, or take no action. What are the pros/cons of each alternative? Which alternative will you choose? Explain how your decision impacts employee relations in your department.
Assume disciplinary action is necessary. Using what you know from chapter 12, develop a strategy on how you would discipline Elizabeth.
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