A progressive discipline policy is one in which, as an employee’s behavior or performance fails to improve or even worsens, the consequences increase in severity – culminating in termination.
Disciplining employees can be one of the hardest aspects of managing people. Certainly, it can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant task. And it must be handled carefully to avoid landing yourself in legal trouble.
But the alternative option – playing each situation by ear and only coaching employees in response to incidents as they arise – amounts to simply hoping that the employee in question listens to you and improves.