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Who should address Jan's poor performance? Management or HR?

by , 10 July 2014
Let's say, one of your employees, Jan, is a poor performer.

You realise that in terms of labour law, you can't just fire him because your company has to follow a counselling procedure first to help Jan improve his performance.

But, your dilemma now is, whose job is it to address poor performance? Is it your responsibility as management or is it Human Resources' job?

Read on to find out the answer so you can effectively deal with poor performers.

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Not sure who should deal with Jan's poor performance between management and HR? Here's the answer

Management is the one who must deal with Jan's poor performance.

According to the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management, every manager is responsible for managing his own department – and that includes managing the people in it.

This means, as Jan's manager, you can't shift this responsibility to Human Resources.

Human Resources can't solve the problem for you. They can only offer support by giving you guidelines, advice, training and development.

If you're not sure how to go about dealing with Jan's poor performance as his manager, check out this article. It contains a five-step joint problem-solving approach for addressing poor performance.

Now that you know whose job it is to address poor performance, keep this important point in mind.

Dealing with poor performance is different from misconduct

Don't make the mistake of confusing the two like most managers do.

An example of misconduct would be some kind of deliberate/wilful conduct where your employee knows the rules but chooses to disregard them, while poor performance occurs where the person isn't capable of performing in the manner you expect, for various reasons.

You must deal with misconduct in terms of your disciplinary procedures and deal with poor performance by following a counseling procedure.

There you have it. Now that you know who must address poor performance between management and HR, deal with poor performers effectively.

PS: Did you know the ONLY way to seamlessly protect your business from being dragged to the CCMA every time you have an employee problem is to have a comprehensive HR Policy Manual in place.

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