Do you have a Jeremy Clarkson?

Have you ever had a Jeremy Clarkson in your business? What did you do and what can you do?

Managing a staff member’s performance or conduct can be a bit tricky. There are things called ‘substantive matters’ and ‘procedural matters’ and to get these both right can take a lot of effort and patience. It is however important to get it right in order to reduce the risk of any action being challenged by a staff member.

There are generally two areas a staff member may be questioned about. The first relates to their performance or poor performance and the other relates to their conduct or misconduct.

Poor performance is when a staff member doesn’t perform their job satisfactorily and misconduct is when their behaviour is unacceptable.

All organisations should follow a fair procedure when it comes to any disciplinary matter. The following is just one.

If a staff member’s performance is unsatisfactory they can be asked to attend a formal disciplinary meeting. If a written warning is given following this meeting then the warning should only be a first written warning. If the unsatisfactory performance continues and a second formal disciplinary meeting takes place and a warning is warranted then a second and final written warning can be given.

So now the staff member is on their final warning. If there is a further incident of poor performance and a formal disciplinary meeting has taken place then the outcome may be dismissal. Of course, suitable ways to assist the staff member to improve their performance should be looked at throughout this process.

Conduct issues on the other hand can jump the warning stages and, depending on the severity of the misconduct, can go directly to instant dismissal. This is a serious outcome for a staff member so only serious misconduct issues should warrant this action.

Employment agreements, job descriptions and policies should detail the performance and conduct expectations and the procedures should give clear detail about how the process would be managed should there be any issues.

Ensure the substantive matters are clear and the procedures are followed and you can handle your Jeremy Clarkson with confidence.