UW Advantages & Disadvantages

One of the elements you will be developing in the course compliance project is a statement of progressive discipline. To that end, the Module 6 Discussion will explore the nature of progressive discipline. First, navigate to the web and watch this short video related to employee discipline procedures – 


The discussion board has two elements. First, identify a company that has a posted progressive discipline policy. Locate the policy, and review it. Include a hyperlink in your post so that your classmates can review the policy.

For the second part of the discussion, analyze the discipline policy you shared with the class. Identify pros and cons of the policy, and suggest how you might change it, given the company and environmental factors. 

Module 4 Discussion


The company discipline policy I reviewed was that of Target. The code of ethics includes a brief section around their progressive discipline process. I believe Target has a progressive discipline policy because in most cases they have a zero-tolerance policy. There is not so much a formal disciplinary process that is followed at Target. When you violate the code of ethics, you are subject to termination. Additionally, if any employees’ actions violate the law, additional legal consequences may occur. Target believes that if someone violates the policies, ignores another team member’s misconduct or pressures someone to violate the code of ethics, the impact could damage Target’s reputation, compromise guest and team member safety, jeopardize our financial health and decrease guest trust. Target has a certain expectation for their employees to meet and will not accept anything less than someone following the clearly defined code of ethics.

Any action Target takes will be prompt, fair and consistent and may involve disciplinary action, including employment termination. I believe Target has a strict policy and could consider relaxing it a little. The advantage of this is it sets a precedent that you should not deliberately disobey the defined code of ethics. Given there could be an accidental mistake made by an employee, incorporating suspensions of written warnings may be a good idea (Bruce, 2021). This way they are not having to let go so many employees who violate the code of ethics. Target’s CEO, Brian Cornell, says, “As a purpose-driven company, we know how important it is to draw on our shared values and behaviors to bring that purpose to life. To help you do that each and every day, we’ve created a Code of Ethics that can help you make choices and decisions that uphold our values and make good on the promises we make to our guests, team, stakeholders, communities and our Target brand.”

Target Code of Ethics: https://corporate.target.com/_media/TargetCorp/about/Target-Corporation-Code-of-Ethics.pdf


Bruce, Stephen. (Jun 25, 2014). Pros and Cons of a Progressive Discipline Program. HR Daily Advisor.


Nora Schindler

Vanderbilt University – Module 4 Discussion


The company I have chosen for this discussion is Vanderbilt University. The progressive discipline policy is provided by Vanderbilt’s human resource department and is very thorough and well laid-out. The link to their progressive discipline policy is here: https://hr.vanderbilt.edu/policies/progressive-discipline.php

The progressive discipline policy provided by Vanderbilt is a four-step process including a verbal warning, written warning, final written warning which may include suspension without pay, and termination of employment (Vanderbilt University, 2015). Vanderbilt University’s progressive discipline policy has many advantages. The procedure gives an employee three chances to improve upon behavior before termination. These employees can understand their actions and the actions needed to correct behavior (Humble Law, 2018). Understanding this policy will also raise morale within the workplace because employees are confident that they will not be immediately fired since the workplace has a four-step disciplinary procedure unless the severity of the action is eligible for immediate termination. The morale is also improved due to the fact employees know there is a proper way to handle other employee actions and employees are ensured that other employee’s actions will be handled according to the progressive disciplinary policy (Humble Law, 2018). This policy is also designed to improve proof of reasonable termination due to the three warnings given by the employer before terminating. This is an advantage for Vanderbilt because if the policy is followed, the company will have ample documentation when it comes time for a termination. A disadvantage of Vanderbilt University’s progressive discipline policy, as with many other company’s progressive discipline policy, is inflexibility (Humble Law, 2018). Vanderbilt University may not want to risk not following the policy or the appearance of discriminatory practices. A change to make this procedure even more beneficial for Vanderbilt University is to add a procedure to highlight the gap between desired and actual performance (Wily Manager, 2011). This change in the policy would fall between the verbal and written warning steps. If Vanderbilt could apply this step, employees may further understand where their performance stands in comparison to where the company would like to see them performing. The addition of this procedure is very important and feasible with the company’s environmental factors.

Humble Law. (2018). The Pros and Cons of Progressive Discipline Procedures in the Georgia Workplace. Retrieved from https://humble.law/pros-cons-progressive-disciplin…

Vanderbilt University. (2015). Progressive Discipline. Human Resources. Retrieved from https://hr.vanderbilt.edu/policies/progressive-dis…

Wily Manager. (2011, October 4). Employee Discipline Procedures & Progressive Discipline: A 3-Minute Crash Course [Video]. YouTube. 

Morgan Ferguson

module 4 discussion


Progressive Discipline | Policies | Human Resources | Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University has a progressive discipline page under policies on their website. As stated in this policy, a progressive discipline is a step-by-step process designed to modify unacceptable employee behaviors, which can also allow for discipline based on the severity of the incident that took place. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Vanderbilt’s progressive discipline page. I liked how they laid out several circumstances of when one incident may be more serious than another incident. It is extremely thorough but also straight to the point. They are able to explain their idea of progressive discipline very well and also explain it so students like us can understand it. In this article it is laid out as followed: the policy or reason for this article, progressive discipline steps, impacts of written or verbal warnings, and resources. The steps related to this progressive discipline policy include:

  1. Verbal Warning
  2. Written Warning
  3. Final Written Warning (suspension without pay)
  4. Termination of Employment

This is a very important aspect to working for Vanderbilt. The effective date of this particular policy was July 1, 2015. Any employee can read this and gather expectations as an employee for Vanderbilt and build their status upon this policy. Like any other policy, this will be a good preventative measure for any fraud activities because the employee can clearly see what Vanderbilt University expects out of the individual. It is also clear as to what happens if there was an incident to occur in the workplace.

One thing I might add is a section about not following protocol with Covid-19 at work. With this being such an important issue, this should be stated in the policy to make sure the employee knows what their employer expects out of them and also so the employee knows what to do. For example, if you are not vaccinated, you must wear a mask when interacting with other employees. If you do not follow this protocol, consequences will occur.

Progressive Discipline. (n.d.). Human Resources. https://hr.vanderbilt.edu/policies/progressive-dis… 

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