Your role is to listen to the employee and ask clarifying questions in order to get the full story from their perspective. This gives the employee an opportunity to explain things such as: what they did and why; to deny allegations they believe are false or distorted; to raise mitigating factors; and to possibly “fall on the sword”. You are not there to defend the proposed disciplinary action, the Department, or any particular individuals involved.
- Name, title, how you want to be called
- Explain you are here to listen to what the employee has to say about the events and make a recommendation to the decision maker regarding the proposed disciplinary action
Questions you may be asked:
What information/material have you already seen?
I was provided with the Intent Letter as well as the materials relied on.
When are you going to meet with the decision maker?
I plan to gather up my notes and get them to her as soon as possible.
Are you going to make a recommendation to the decision maker?
If I believe something needs further investigation, I’ll look into those issues. If I form any opinions regarding what is said today, I’ll share them with the decision maker.
Don’t you think…(it’s wrong to retaliate against someone) (there hasn’t been progressive discipline here) (a lower level of corrective or disciplinary action would be more appropriate)…?
Either turn their question into a question of your own: Explain to me how this would resolve the conduct concerns?
Or respond with something like: It’s not my role here to determine if there was enough prior progressive discipline, but I will pass that concern of yours to the decision maker.
Common issues that arise:
- If the Union brings up allegations that are not associated with this disciplinary letter, you can ask how those concerns related to this disciplinary letter. Redirect them- the purpose of this meeting is to hear information about this disciplinary letter, but if they have concerns about other situations, they should discuss them with their supervisor.
- If the employee says they have witnesses to any of the incidents who would back up their version of what happened, get NAMES (write them down) and what the employee thinks they saw/heard.
If the employee acknowledges their mistakes, ask them, “what would you do differently next time?”
- Take a last look over the Intent Letter and your notes and ask any final questions. If the employee didn’t give you anything in writing, ask them if they are planning on doing that by the Skelly deadline.
- If the Union wants to discuss a “deal” like a lower level of disciplinary action, get their offer (verbal is okay) and pass that along to the decision maker.