If I had a penny for every time a manager told me that employment law prevented them from managing their staff, I would be so rich I wouldn’t need to work.
Most of the problems we deal with on our hotline stem from a failure to properly manage performance. Whether it is ‘bullying’ or problems in managing maternity leave, selection for redundancy, even half the discrimination problems we get – they all stem from a failure to:
- Design jobs people can succeed in
- Recruit people with the right skills
- Set achievable goals within that job
- Adequately resource for success
- Monitor performance and feedback
- Adjust course where needed
When we talk to employees within teams we find them saying – management won’t touch x person because they are protected by discrimination law, management don’t tackle poor performance early enough or clearly enough.
The managers say employment law stops them doing this.
Employment law is not that tricky if you know what you are doing. Some organisations are cursed with the ‘employee from hell’ but most are not. You don’t have to wait until you can’t stand it any more and then try to shoe horn ‘employment law’ into a last minute dash towards dismissal (with the replacement waiting in the wings). You can integrate the basics into a simple performance management system.
If you are struggling with manage your team (or an individual) and thinking “if employment law didn’t exist I’d…………….” now is the perfect time to start working on that problem.
Employment law is not going to stop you managing poor performance in your business if you know what you are doing.
Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy. Tel: 08452 303050 Fax: 08452 303060 Website : www.irenicon.co.uk. You can follow Annabel on twitter – http://twitter.com/AnnabelKaye