Career clinic

    If you have no experience of a grievance hearing, your union
    representative or HR manager can explain the procedure. In
    preparing to respond to the accusations you need some clearly
    stated examples of her underperformance. Uncomfortable though it
    may be, you will need to review all your verbal and written
    communications with the employee. Consider your style of
    communication: it should be constructive and not confrontational.
    Have you unwittingly revealed your dissatisfaction with her
    inappropriately? If so, she may have reason to feel aggrieved. You
    may feel vulnerable in this situation and should seek support from
    your union representative, staff support counsellor or an
    uninvolved colleague.


    Even if you are vindicated at the hearing the problem of
    underperforming has to be dealt with. Use your organisation’s
    performance management procedure. Everything should be recorded and
    your own line manager involved in seeking a solution. This is about
    using a collaborative approach to encourage the employee to
    understand what is wrong, what needs to change and why. Agree to
    achieve goals over time, bearing in mind that if poor performance
    has been tolerated previously the employee may be resistant to
    tighter management control. Listen to what the employee says are
    problems for her as there may also be organisational issues
    affecting her work.

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