Just like that, eh?
Well, unfortunately, firing someone without going through the proper processes here in New Zealand will land you in employment court. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re in the right; the employee still has the right to go through a performance management process.
As the employer, you must show that you are actively helping the staff member to improve their performance.
The staff member has to go through a first warning, a second warning, and a final warning before you can fire them. And in between the first, second, and last warnings, you must go through discussions with and a review of the said staff member.
The whole process can take months and months.
To a lot of bosses, it’s utterly energy sapping, time wasting, and totally ridiculous, but there’s no avoiding it. So if you were in this situation, what choice would you have, apart from feeling like a hostage to the system?
Performance management, coaching, or both?
Most employees actually want to do well. The problem is, under performing employees probably don’t know the first thing about improving their performance at work. Or their lives are too chaotic that they can’t focus when they’re at work. Or they might be great workers, but their interpersonal skills are nonexistent.
The list can go on and on.
When we use coaching first and foremost in conjunction with identifying gaps in performance management, we truly give the staff member the chance to improve. Coaches give them the chance to be aware of their actions and find out for themselves why the behaviours they are exhibiting do not serve them or the team at all.
Coaches do not tell them what to do; rather, coaches give people other ways of looking at situations and finding solutions for themselves. It’s more like making them aware that there are several roads to get to the end of the bridge.
With the right guidance, they might eventually want to do better.
To coach or not to coach?
The first challenge is to figure out if the employee is willing to be coached, or if the employer is willing to spend time and money to have that person coached at all.
But what happens without coaching?
Without coaching, you have a staff member who knows he’s on thin ice. He might cause more damage to the company name or bottom line while you’re the process of having him go through each warning.
But if you do coach him?
After you have done your initial performance discussion, you find a coach to help the staff member address his performance or behavioural issues. The coach then hopefully engages him enough that he turns around and actually performs to standard.
This might also take a few months, but if this can stem from coaching, wouldn’t it be worth it? You might even find a diamond in the rough.
Light at the end of the tunnel.
It must be said that not everyone is open to coaching, and not all employers or managers can be effective coaches. The manager coaching the staff member might be met with resistance, as both of them are too close to the issue. An external coach would be the best person to address the issue.
Large companies hire executive coaches when they see that their managers are ineffective in their roles, or if they see a gap in their performance. Rightly so, because they see their managers as important assets to the team. But will they extend the same service to their rank and file?
There’s no reason not to. If the company truly understands the importance of each and every team member, then coaching them out of their gaps is the best step forward.
Feeling like you are a hostage to the employment relation rules? You don’t have to be. There is a better, gentler way to address the challenge.
Dare to truly care about your workers. Dare to Be Business and Life coaches will help you get there.