A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about “The cost of a bad employee” and the tendency for Owner Managers to overlook the real impact that ‘bad employees’ can have on businesses. You may have been reading our article with someone specific in mind – but before you take action, stop for a minute and think about employee regulations.

We thought we’d do a quick follow up on that post with a contribution from Robyn Nye, our HR specialist, for our clients benefit. Here we’ll talk a little about taking the right steps, rather than acting on the ‘Kick out the door’ impulse which could land you in an employment tribunal.

Most businesses will draw up a basic job role when they originally advertise for a position, but far fewer will create a detailed job description outlining the specifics of a staff member’s role, including all of the tasks they are responsible for, and how to complete them. Having this type of structure in place makes it much clearer for you to see how your staff fill their day, whether the tasks they are undertaking are a productive use of time and value for money in respect of their hourly rate. If you would like to understand more about this process, and how to get started on implementing it in to your business, talk to one of our Principal Advisers. 

One of the ways an employer can proactively deal with a problem employee is to establish a Capability Procedure which enables employers to deal with concerns about the performance and general attitude of troublesome employees in a fair and reasonable manner.

By following an established Capability Procedure, employers will dramatically reduce the risk of being on the wrong end of an expensive Employment Tribunal claim in the event that an employee feels that he/she has been unfairly dismissed by reason of poor performance.

The objective of the procedure is for employers to be seen to be giving an employee the opportunity of improving performance and/or attitude.  Those employees that choose to embrace this opportunity almost always become better at their job and a better fit within the team around them.  Those that choose not to embrace this opportunity will probably move on before the procedure has been concluded, or will be fairly and reasonably dismissed at the end of it.

A Capability Procedure is handled in much the same way as a Disciplinary Procedure, and can be easily added to Contracts of Employment or Employment Handbooks.

REMEMBER – With any employment issues, it is vital that if you have/or are thinking of talking to a staff member about poor performance you document your discussions to establish a timeline of evidence of a period of poor performance.

Don’t jump the gun! Let us know if you would like more information about managing troublesome employees.