Do’s and Don’ts of a Safe Disciplinary Meeting

It’s always a difficult task to discipline or terminate an employee. And, no two employees will react the same to the news that he or she is being disciplined or learning that it is his or her last day. Because of this uncertainty, it is important to make advanced preparations for the safety of those involved in the meeting as well as all employees in the workplace. Continue reading to learn how you can conduct a safe disciplinary meeting or separation meeting.

How to Conduct a Safe Disciplinary Meeting

Follow these tips to ensure a safe disciplinary meeting or separation meeting.

The Do’s of Disciplinary Meetings

  • Discuss the meeting location in advance. The location is one of the most critical components.
  • Ensure the meeting setting is private, with minimal distractions.
  • Conduct the meeting on the ground floor away from other employees.
  • Make every effort to put the employee at ease.
  • Notify corporate security or local law enforcement prior to all meetings where behavioral concerns exist.
  • Position the employee in a seat that has a clear exit path to reduce his or her anxiety and fear of being trapped (reference Diagram A and B below).
disciplinary meeting seating chart
Diagram A
Diagram B

The Don’ts of Disciplinary Meetings

  • Do not hold the meeting in a room with glass windows. Glass windows will detract from privacy and may cause embarrassment to the employee.
  • Do not have any objects that could be used as weapons in the meeting room such as scissors, loose pens or pencils, letter openers, blunt objects, coffee mugs, or other drinkware.

For additional tips or guidance on conducting a safe disciplinary meeting, please contact the employee threat mitigation team at Hudson Physical Security Consulting. We have experience consulting for dozens of incidents concerning workplace violence prevention and can help you avoid problems when disciplining or terminating employees.