How Corrective Action Works in Today's Workplace
Corrective action is a scary way of saying "you are in big trouble" in today's workplace. Human Resources, your manager and yourself are pulled into a talk about your future at the company.
The biggest problem with corrective action at work is that you are less protected than you would be in a court of law. You are presumed guilty and will receive punishment. All the investigations and evidence collection is secret. Your accuser is secret, so you cannot adequately address their claims, and the actual charge against you is obscured so you cannot find out who reported you.
The investigator and the prosecutor are fully separated. The prosecutor is a decentralized entity who reviews the evidence and then punishes you by committee. The interviewer will ask you leading questions to try to get a win for their career, and since you have incomplete information, you need to be very careful. Say nothing and just hold on.
I have learned to keep to myself at work and keep a very low profile. Corrective action follows you, and you have a letter in your file. Work in my mind is just a paycheck, a number I receive in my bank account. It's key to be very compliant when corrective action is on the table and keep a low profile.