Performance Management Vs. Disciplinary Action
Many companies find performance management and initiating disciplinary measures against individuals for misconduct to be awkward and emotionally draining. It can be difficult for your employer to differentiate between misconduct and underperformance, and it’s even more challenging to confidently manage you as an employee through a disciplinary or performance management process.
Poor performance is addressed through performance management. If you as an employee fail to achieve the necessary criteria of your job, this is referred to as poor performance. If forms of underperformance happen, such as failing to meet KPIs or being unable to complete your responsibilities owing to a lack of skills, your employer may consider putting you through a performance management procedure.
As part of a fair procedure, your employer should identify the problem, such as a lack of skills, educate the employee, and provide additional training as needed. They should also devise a strategy to solve your performance concerns and provide you with the opportunity to meet the required standard. Performance management should focus solely on the job requirements, not on workplace behaviour; it should be clear that misconduct is not the same as poor performance.
If you have been accused of behaving inappropriately at work, your employer may need to use a formal disciplinary process to raise and address issues about your behaviour. Employers should establish and implement procedures that are consistent with the expected levels of workplace behaviour so that employees are aware of what is and are not acceptable behaviour. All employees should be aware of these policies, and the employer should be consistent in applying and enforcing them.
Misconduct is defined as behaviour in the workplace that is generally unsatisfactory, that is contradictory to the employment contract, or that violates a company’s standards and procedures. Disciplinary action is frequently taken to resolve misconduct.
Examples of Misconduct:
- absences that are not authorised
- poor language
- misusing company equipment
Serious misconduct which is more serious than misconduct is defined as intentional and deliberate behaviour that is incompatible with the continuance of the employment contract or poses serious and urgent harm to the business’s reputation, viability, or profitability, or to a person’s health and safety. Theft, fraud, and assault are only a few examples.
A performance management process may result in additional training or a performance management plan or performance improvement plan, which provides an opportunity to improve your performance. Disciplinary action may not result from inappropriate behaviour in the workplace. But there is always a line where behaviour becomes unacceptable. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t say it or do in front of your grandmother, don’t do it in the workplace. It is your obligation to ensure that you and your colleagues behave properly and appropriately. An employer’s responsibility is just to remind you of their required working behaviour and ensure you follow it.
Here at Resolve Legal, we can help guide you through the performance management and disciplinary processes. We know first-hand how difficult disciplinary and performance concerns can be! This is why we work with employees to solve problems as quickly as possible, advising and assisting you along the way.