People who have strayed from the proper path of acceptable performance can soak up a lot of your time and energy and you can be forgiven for thinking that you should get through the process in a quick and effortless way to maximise your time and get on with the real and necessary work.
There is a danger to this thinking because when people face disciplinary action for poor behaviour or unacceptable performance, this can be just as much down to a failure of management. Just as the person may be at fault, management should share some of the blame for allowing the situation to develop.
I believe that all Disciplinary Meetings are a failure of management in some way. It can be because of negligence, avoidance or denial of the issues leading up to unacceptable performance.
How can you eliminate disciplinary hearings? Impossible you say? Not at all! But it isn’t easy, that’s for sure. It takes planning and patience to see the results come through as well as persistence.
Plan. Stop recruiting the wrong people for the wrong reasons. You may be filling a gap, or even taking on someone who has impressed you through the interview process. Think about the skills and attitudes required by your organisation and recruit for the right attitude. They have to fit with your culture and ethos too, if they are to thrive.
Track Performance Frequently Once or twice-yearly appraisals is not enough. People get off track when their performance isn’t tracked more frequently. Your results are required on a monthly or quarterly basis: you should mirror this in your performance management system.
By tracking performance systematically, frequently and regularly, managers will have their finger on the pulse of the people issues in their department.
Skills are Vital If you agree that skills are vital, then you should be measuring the skills and competencies of your people. This measurement should be objective, agreed by all and be part of your performance management process.
Face Up. Management need to face up to the realities of the people issues that they encounter and tackle those issues in a sensitive but systematic way, so that you have progress and continuous improvement. Succession planning and skills gaps need action, even if it isn’t urgent, it is important to monitor this at board level on a regular basis. Investment in these areas are rarely a waste of money.
Once Senior Management recognises that they share the blame when Disciplinary Meetings are called for, then there can be a more sensitive approach to the hearing itself.
No longer is the person “on trial” and isolated. The management are also in the firing line, so-to-speak. This makes for a more considered approach to the person and a more collaborative outcome.
If you would like a no-obligation discussion on the performance management issues in your organisation, please feel free to contact me: Mervyn@masteri.co.uk
Have a great week!