Monday, October 15, 2012
A note about "progressive discipline" in the salaried workplace
I used to hear this term a lot in the 1980s, when things got tough for some people around a big implementation that we did around Oct. 1, 1987 (25 years ago). It’s “progressive discipline”, which usually comprises some steps: counseling, verbal warning, written warning, and then termination.
One employee, who had been a project leader at one time, couldn’t code and get reliable test results (after turnover to QA) when he had to code himself (just COBOL and DATACOMM). I remember his being told that if he resigned he could get severance. He refused. Three weeks later, on a Monday morning in March, 1987, he was called in to the boss’s office. He was never seen again. His cubicle was left “as is” for others to find for a while. “A_” is no longer with the company”.
A site called “Human Resources” on "About.com" talks about “progressive discipline” here.
At another employer, in the late 90s, the process was called “performance improvement program”, which could take on “a very abbreviated form”.