Progressive Discipline


Except where the College determines that immediate suspension or dismissal is required, when disciplinary action is necessary, progressive discipline will be used. Progressive discipline, for the purpose of this policy, is defined as disciplinary action taken for corrective purposes. Therefore, disciplinary action will normally follow the pattern of oral reprimands and written reprimands prior to suspension or dismissal. Serious offenses may lead to suspension or discharge following a single offense. Disciplinary action will be taken against an employee only after notice and an opportunity to respond.

See Performance Management System on the HR web page.

Normally if oral and written reprimands fail to improve performance, the next step is a performance improvement plan: see example below from the Performance Management System referenced above.


Establish a Performance Improvement Plan

A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) must be developed for any employee who receives a rating of “does not meet expectations” for any factor. Within that plan, there must be specific improvement objectives targeting each performance factor where the appraisal rating was “does not meet expectations”. A form is included at the end of this manual to assist you in developing a Performance Improvement Plan.

    • If one of your employees is having significant difficulty meeting the College's performance standards during the year, establish a performance improvement plan immediately to assist the employee in improving. The year-end appraisal meeting should not be the first time an employee hears that he or she has a performance deficiency.
    • It is sometimes helpful to discuss your concerns and proposed approach with your supervisor or a member of Human Resources before you meet with the employee.
    • Specifically identify areas that need improvement. Define tasks that are the employee's responsibility and tasks that are the supervisor's responsibility to meet clearly defined performance expectations.
    • Always encourage development opportunities in areas in need of improvement. Such training may be formal or informal, on-the-job or at an outside class, etc.
    • Solicit the employee’s own ideas on how they can improve in the highlighted areas. They are often more likely to “buy-in” to developmental approaches that they introduce on their own.
    • Define a time period during which the employee must demonstrate the "standard" level of performance.
    • Follow-up with the employee frequently during the development period to monitor progress and provide appropriate reinforcement.
    • Whenever reasonable, demonstrate a willingness to modify your own work behavior if it can help an employee to be a more effective member of your staff.

Performance Improvement Plan

Use this Performance Improvement Plan as a guide to help you monitor the problem behavior/performance of an employee in an effort to help them improve their performance. The Performance Improvement Plan must be turned in to the Human Resources Office no later than two weeks after the appraisal.

Key items to include in an improvement plan:

    1. Define the problem behavior, performance or duties where improvement is required. Determine if the problem is a performance problem (employee has not been able to demonstrate mastery of skills/tasks) or a behavior problem (employee may perform the tasks but creates an environment that disrupts the workplace).
      • What improvements are required to successfully perform these duties?
      • Which skills need improvement?
      • What changes need to be made in application of skills the employee has already demonstrated?
      • What behaviors need to be modified?
    2. Develop an “action plan.”
      • Identify what the employee’s responsibilities are.
      • Identify what the supervisor will do to help the employee accomplish the improvement
    3. Establish timetables for accomplishing change in performance/behavior with employee.
      • When must this be accomplished?
      • Are there intermediate timeframes and steps that must be accomplished during the completion of the improvement plan?
      • Set a review date to discuss progress

Please meet with the Director of Human Resources to review the PIP prior to meeting with the employee and obtaining signatures. A final signed copy of the form must be forwarded to the respective Executive staff member and to HR for placement into the personnel file.

All Delta College employees

Revision/review dates