News Article

latest news in employment law


Published 01 Jul 2009

Employers need to have performance management systems in place to ensure that good performance actually happens. Performance management systems implementation is the only way one can ensure top performance in each case.

Some employers wrongfully look to dismiss poor performers. Rather than look to dismiss the employee as a first step there are some alternatives well worth looking at. Before any actions it will pay to refer to the employment agreement. Without doubt though, the first step must be for the manager to act very quickly. And the actions taken need to meet a standard of Good Faith as per your employment Agreement and in accordance with law. So please don't look to restructure or dismiss as a first step. Replacing an employee is very expensive.

Good Faith actions will include performance management in a fair and constructive manner. Where improvement fails to appear then disciplinary systems can be started. Fair actions will include addressing the problem immediately it becomes apparent, addressing it with the employee concerned, in private or with a witness and ensuring the employee has the tools with which to do the job, is fully trained in the tasks required and has the support needed to ensure top performance. It will also require a follow up or checking system so that identifiable problems can be addressed immediately. Choose your words carefully. Most employees really want to do the job properly. Some are surprised and feel ambushed when a correction process arises as they had no idea there was a problem.

If performance management is not carried out correctly employees may well become 'disadvantaged' or even level successful allegations at the employer claiming unfair procedure. This can be avoided by putting down the baseball bat and consulting with the employee to ascertain why the problem arose. There might also be good reason for the poor performance.

If you enter 'informal discussions' it will pay to enter notes on the personal file to refer to later. Please remember that the employee is entitled to access the contents of their file.

In addition, where there is a measurable improvement please ensure the employee is praised.

The process might require a formal meeting and a warning of the likely results if improvements are not forthcoming. It is only as a last resort that formal dismissal procedures need to be instigated.

Statements from employers such as "He's been here three years and still doesn't get it" evidence poor management performance.

Employer Support Package members please consider using the online performance reviews of the Employers Toolbox online, others may see the Improve Staff Performance eBook.