Policy Manual

Frequently Asked Questions: Performance Improvement/Discipline

This list of Frequently Asked Questions refers to Policy 621 in the Human Resources Policy Manual.

FAQ for Employees

FAQ for Supervisors

FAQ for Employees

FAQ: Performance Improvement/Discipline - Employees

An oral warning is the initial step in the application of progressive discipline. Your supervisor should meet with you to discuss your performance or conduct on a regular basis. Unsatisfactory performance or misconduct should be noted and brought to your attention in a timely manner. The supervisor should also outline for you the appropriate corrective action.

Any stage of the progressive discipline process is to be taken seriously. Failure to correct the unsatisfactory performance or misconduct may result in further disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. However, this oral warning is the first step in the process. It should be a "wake-up" call to you that corrective action is needed.

A staff member may request counseling with a Staff and Labor Relations Specialist concerning the problem(s) with performance or conduct. Also, the University has a Workplace Issue Resolution Program. The Program focuses on providing the parties involved with a set of flexible options that allow the parties to choose a method or methods to assist in resolving their dispute with the least amount of disruption to the underlying work relationship. Additionally, the Program provides an opportunity to improve communication between the parties and strengthen the work relationship.

If you are interested in using the Workplace Issue Resolution Program, contact Staff and Labor Relations at 898-6093.

Supervisors should give their staff member(s) regular feedback throughout the year on their progress at meeting performance expectations. Make it a point to ask your supervisor for feedback.
A supervisor should discuss and document, in writing, the performance expectations for each staff member during the introductory evaluation and annual appraisal processes. If this has not taken place, you can initiate a conversation with your supervisor. You can make a list of what you understand your goals and responsibilities to be and review them with your supervisor.

FAQ for Supervisors

FAQ: Performance Improvement/Discipline - Supervisors

To ensure that an employee has every opportunity to improve job performance with assistance from his/her supervisor, the University encourages using these progressive steps. Steps may be omitted or repeated depending on the frequency, severity and/or nature of performance or misconduct exhibited. Progressive discipline or corrective action MAY NOT be imposed in situations involving serious misconduct, which includes but is not limited to, criminal behavior, assault, insubordination, misappropriation of funds, harassment, discrimination, etc. Serious misconduct may result in immediate termination of employment; however, a department may not terminate employment of a staff member for any reason without prior review by Division of Human Resources/Staff and Labor Relations.

A Staff and Labor Relations Specialist is available to consult with staff members and supervisors at any stage of the progressive disciplinary process. However, when it is apparent that a written warning is warranted, it is imperative for the supervisor to consult with a Staff and Labor Relations Specialist to find out how to initiate the warning and subsequent discussion.

It is a good idea for supervisors to consult with their Staff Relations Specialist as soon as a performance problem is identified, even before discipline is necessary.

The length of the probation period should be determined in consultation with a Staff and Labor Relations Specialist. The length of the probationary period depends on such factors as:

  • Nature and scope of behavior/performance to be improved
  • Work Cycle
  • Amount of time needed to fully observe staff member's performance
Examples of serious misconduct include, but are not limited to, criminal behavior, assault, insubordination, misappropriation of funds, falsifying records, threats, harassment, discrimination, etc. All such cases of serious misconduct may result in immediate termination of employment.