Employee discipline should be handled properly and should be thoroughly documented. First, every employee should have access to the job description, employee handbook, and code of conduct. Signed copies of each should be kept on file. The signed copies demonstrate that the employee read and and had understanding of each of these documents.
Second, when it is time to evaluate an employee's performance, the performance issues must be clearly documented. The employee should know areas of improvement and should be told in what way they could improve.
Finally, once appropriate documentation is completed, an action plan should be developed. The action plan should include 30, 60, and 90 days time frames for development. If the action plan is implemented and the goals of the action plan are not met within the appropriate time frame, then appropriate disciplinary action should be taken.