Blake Lapthorn Thames Valley HR forum - Oxford - 16 October 2012
Managing Poor Performance Mike Wilson, Partner Blake Lapthorn
Why manage at all? If well managed we have: – Motivated employees. – A willingness to work. – A pride in working for the organisation. – A positive reflection on your business. – An ability to attract good recruits. – Leads to growth and profitability.
Why manage at all? Poor management means: – We risk our business. – Bad attitudes develop and go unchecked. – A negative culture. – Inward reflecting staff. – A lack of direction. – Leading to lost business opportunities and potential Employment Tribunal Claims.
How to avoid a day out to the EmploymentTribunal Manage performance before a problem arises Set the required standard. – Implied Contractual Terms. – Express Contractual Terms. – Non- Contractual Policies and Procedures. – Industry and Local Practice.
Effective steps in the management ofperformance Make Use of Probationary Periods. – New recruits – Existing Employees – Flexibility to extend? Importance of Appraisals and Feedback – Confront difficult issues (diplomatically!) – Keep a record
Where common problems arise and how toavoid a growing problem The Lazy Employee (lack of productivity or slowness). The Rigid Employee ( “inflexibility”). The Prickly Employee (failure to establish good working relations with colleagues or customers).Deal with the matter swiftly: Do not avoid the issue, it will get worse and will be harder to manage. Try to avoid a heavy-handed approach. Establish whether performance is really the problem?
Dismissing fairly for poor performance Is the reason capability? Reasonable belief in the employee’s incompetence? Undertake a reasonable investigation. Provide a chance to improve and set agreed objectives. What is a reasonable timescale for improvement? Support or training? Reviewing progress.
Poor performance hearings and the decisionto dismiss Notify the employee in writing. What to say. Don’t be hasty; but don’t delay.Deciding to Dismiss? Consider alternative employment?
Issues that commonly arise Is it possible to dismiss instantly for a single act of incompetence? Lapses after improvement? Can a final written warning be given for the first instance of poor performance? Is it acceptable to use a Compromise Agreement as an alternative to the capability procedure?
Scope of claims by employees Breach of Contract Unfair Dismissal Discrimination and Harassment