Problem Solving

It is important that each student understands the significance of her/his position. Students should arrive on time, complete assigned tasks, and stay until they are scheduled to leave. If they are ill or unable to come in as scheduled, students should inform their supervisor prior to their scheduled time.

Communicating Expectations
Supervisors can decide how they deal with their own employees but the response should be fair and consistent. Supervisors should clearly address expectations such as confidentiality, dependability, dress code, office etiquette, work ethic, and job requirements and explain the relative weight of each.

Responding to Performance Issues
There will be times, however, in spite of your best efforts and careful planning, that performance problems will arise. At this point, you are going to have to take some time to stop and examine what happened, discuss the problem with the student, and try to come up with some kind of a solution. Here is a basic approach.

  • Define the problem.
  • Before you even talk to the student, consider some possible, acceptable solutions.
  • Meet with the student.
  • Present the problem to the student in as clear a way as possible.
  • Get the student’s input.
  • Pick a mutually agreeable solution.
  • Get a commitment from the student.

Soliciting the solution from the student is very important. You want the words to come out of the student’s mouth. If the student tells you their plan for resolving the problem and the solution is an acceptable one, they will be more likely to remember the solution, commit to it, and follow through with it.

Corrective and Disciplinary Procedures

Disciplinary action is a constructive means of dealing with unacceptable behavior or performance deficiencies on the part of an employee. The supervisor should meet with the student employee about any aspects of work performance that fail to meet standards and provide an opportunity for improvement.

Disciplinary Action Steps
Disciplinary action is intended to assist and encourage employees to correct their conduct and to achieve satisfactory work performance and should include a series of progressive actions. Prior to the termination of a student employee and depending upon the seriousness of the offenses, one or more of the following steps should be taken:

  1. Oral warning: discuss the problem with the student.
  2. Written warning: discuss the problems with the student explicitly; notify the student of the possibility of termination if corrective action is not taken.
  3. Final Probation: again discuss the problem with the student, give them a time period to correct the problem or suggest that they consider resigning.
  4. Termination Notice: inform student of his or her termination.

MU Sample Written Warning
MU Oral Warning Documentation

Employee Termination
Typically supervisors give students two weeks’ notice of termination. Immediate termination of a student is expected for gross misconduct, including but not limited to actions threatening the safety of others, malicious use or theft of agency property, or falsification and/or forgery of time sheets or other documents. Supervisors should report such cases. A student’s record of involuntary termination for gross misconduct may result in further disciplinary action by the University.

Student Employee Incident Report

Learn more about discipline using training resources from myLearn.