I have always believed in using the 24 hour rule when it comes to handling either discipline or sensitive issues in the office with staff personnel and so far it has been the right thing to do.  If you have never heard of the 24 hour rule, let me explain.

Let’s say that you have just found out the one of your staff members has been making a costly mistake and you need to talk to them about what has happened and what needs to take place to either correct the situation or end the situation.

This is not an emergency situation, because no one has been hurt or no crime has been committed.  The way to handle the situation best  is to take at least 24 hours to ponder the situation, gather information, and give yourself time to really think through what has taken place.

By doing this you will be able to avoid jumping to wrong conclusions, and possibly jumping down an employees throat unnecessarily, and avoid making bad decisions by not knowing the full impact of the situation.

Many times by taking the extra day to really think things through you have the time to see things from the staff members position and understand better why they did what they did and then you can address it much better because you have a better understanding of where they are coming from.

This extra 24 hours also gives you time to “chill out” and not sound like a hard-nosed-boss, which is never taken well.  Most of all what is really good about taking this time is that you can write notes down of what you want to address and why and when you do it is so much better for all parties.   I can personally say that 99% of the time, when the confrontation has happened this way, it comes out with a positive ending.

In actuality the 24 hour rule should definitely be incorporated into your “Progressive Discipline Policy”.   You do have one right?  If not take a look at the link below for a start and we will have to do a post on that topic very soon.

The Progressive Discipline Handbook