6 responses to “The Paper Trail”

  1. This situation occurs in many companies and for the company to protect itself, it should have a written policy inplace for performance problems. Initially the problem may be discussed between the manager and the employee however, it is the manager’s responsibility to fully document the discussion. This requires date, time, place, details, and the outcome.

    Once the problem excalates to the point where the employee may be terminated for performance, normally there can be three steps taken. The first step would be a discussion with the employee, his manager, and his manager’s manager present. All details of the discussion should be documented by the manager and the employee be given an oral reprimand. The second step would be similar except the employee would be given a written reprimand at this point.

    If the employee does not show improvement after the two previous meetings, a third meeting would be for termination. Again, very thorough documentation is required by both managers present. The goal is to avoid an employee lawsuit against the company.

  2. Supervisors have an important responsibility of managing people for maximum productivity. As such, they need to have all the tools, knowledge and skills that are needed for them to be successful managers. While training and professional development should be part of any progressive organization’s benefit, it is doubly important to make each and every manager with supervisory responsibility “accountable” for their employee’s success or failure and the best way to achieve this is not only showing the managers the “how to” but to make the “management skills” part of the review process. Unless the managers realize that they are personally “responsible” and “accountable” for their employees’ output and progress, the complaints will never stop!

  3. You are so correct. Achieving results through people is the primary function of most managers. Not evaluating a manager’s ability to lead others is a mistake.

  4. Dennis,

    I am curious. What is your role in the organization?

  5. One of my biggest frustrations when I was a supervisor of a struggling employee was how HR’s focus seemed primarily on what I needed to do to avoid the company getting sued for unlawful termination. Looking back, had I gotten more coaching about delegating or really listening to the employee, I probably would have helped the employee and myself to do a better job for the company. Perhaps the problem was primarily my ignorance, but I still assert that, had I gotten more support about enhancing performance, rather than documenting poor performance, my employee and I would have done better for the company and ourselves.

  6. Carter, I think that your comment describes what happens most often in organizations. Unfortunately the conversation represents the competing interests in organizations that brind division instead of the harmony needed to work together. In order to acheive true performance management HR and supervisors (and company leaders) need to work together for the common goal of acheiving results. When feedback becomes part of the culture then HR mangers should get he documentation they want, supervisors can get the performance they want, and employees should get what they want. Creating that culture is often the difficultly.

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