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There are key differences when dealing with poor performance and misconduct. Find out what they are so you don't land up at the CCMA

by , 27 January 2015
Employers often confuse poor performance with misconduct and vice versa.

But did you know there's a difference between the two? And the procedures you use to deal with them are very different too.

If you use the wrong procedure to deal with either one, your employee could take you to the CCMA and win.

Keep reading to discover the procedure you must use to deal with poor performance vs misconduct so you'll never confuse the two.


Here are the differences between poor performance and misconduct procedures

 
Poor performance is when your employee fails to do his job or part of it to the standards you require, says the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service. It could, for instance, include missing deadlines and producing shoddy work.
 
To deal with poor performance, you must:
 
1. Find out reasons behind your employee's poor performance; and
2. Check if the standards your employee isn't meeting were reasonably achievable.
 
That's not all.
 
You must help your employee to get to the level of performance you want by:
 
3. Making it clear what you expect from him; and
4. Giving him guidance, counselling and training.
 
The rule after this is you must give your employee a reasonable time to improve. Set deadlines, give your employee regular feedback and monitor how he's doing. You also need to make it clear that if he doesn't improve within a certain time, you'll dismiss him.
 
But remember, dismissal must be the last resort. Try to solve the problem by all means. Consider things like transferring your employee or demoting him instead of dismissal.
 
Now that you know the procedure for dealing with poor performance, read on for the one for misconduct…
 
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Do you have a paper-shuffler working for you?

You know that person…

  • Always busy but never meets deadlines…
  • Always making excuses for why he doesn't meet company targets…
  • He doesn't meet his KPI's…
  • And he's constantly making costly mistakes…

The next logical step is to get rid of him and get someone who can do the job. But watch out, that could cost you BIG at the CCMA!

So what can you LEGALLY do?
******************************************
 

Here's the correct procedure for dealing with misconduct

 
Misconduct is when your employee breaks your workplace rules.
 
The correct procedure for dealing with misconduct is to hold a legally compliant disciplinary hearing. This is true if your employee's misconduct is serious. And you think dismissal could be the outcome. If it's a minor offence, give your employee a warning.
 
To find out how to conduct a disciplinary hearing, check out The Chairman's Guide to Disciplinary Hearings: How to Chair 100% Legally Compliant Hearings.
 

Never confuse poor performance with misconduct and vice versa

 
If, for example, you classify charges against your employee as misconduct when it should be poor performance and you dismiss your employee, the CCMA will say the dismissal is unfair. And you'd have to take your employee back or compensate him.
 
Now that you have the know-how, deal with poor performance and misconduct correctly.
 

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