Dealing with poor performance: case study 1
This case study was published on 08/11/2011 on the XpertHR website (of which the University subscribes). It is written by Caroline Noblet an employment lawyer with solicitors Squire Sanders Hammonds and deals with poor performance. This looks at a situation in which a manager initially wants to consider dismissing an employee for her poor performance even though the employer has failed to address the poor performance to date. It is written in the context of a commercial organisation but is procedurally correct. It should not be used as any kind of ‘template’ for performance management and all such formal action should be fully discussed with HR. This is for information purposes only to give an insight for line managers. In some places it has been edited to correct for relevance. Carol is a claims administrator with Rest Assured plc, a life assurance company. In her mid 60s, she is one of the company's longest-serving employees and has an unblemished disciplinary record. David, the claims team manager, who joined the company recently, arranges a meeting with the HR manager, Elaine, to discuss a problem he is having with Carol. Some of Carol's colleagues have complained to him that she is not pulling her weight and is dealing with her claims allocation very slowly. They have to cover for her to prevent a backlog of claims building up. David explains to Elaine that he has been told that Carol's poor performance has been a problem for some time but the previous claims team manager did nothing about it. There is no documentation showing that the problem was being addressed. The previous manager allowed Carol to coast along, so much so that it appears to Derek that she has become somewhat "set in her ways". Because of the effect that Carol's underperformance is having on the rest of the team, David wants to take decisive action now. Elaine needs to outline to David the steps that he should take to address Carol's...
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