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Two Things to Establish at a Disciplinary Enquiry

16 November 2017

You have done your investigation (see ‘Seven Questions You Need to Ask Before a Disciplinary Enquiry’), collected the evidence, written out the allegations and issued the Notice of Enquiry. Now we just wait for the enquiry to happen, don’t we? Not quite. There are two things you will have to establish for the chairperson, or…

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Two of the biggest mistakes made when firing employees

6 July 2017

The following is an article I contributed to Formfactory, who asked various experts in labour relations and labour law, “What are the biggest mistakes employers make when firing employees?” Please add your ideas to the conversation below. Since employers lose some 60% of cases referred to the CCMA, serious mistakes are being made. Two of…

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Verbal, Written and Final Warnings: The How and the When

20 June 2017

Written warnings, final written warnings, verbal warnings (or ‘written verbal warnings’, whatever that might be) – how and when do you issue them and what do you do once you have issued them? The Labour Relations Act (LRA), Code of Good Practice: Dismissal (the Code) encourages ‘corrective or progressive discipline’ and states: ‘Efforts should be…

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Seven Questions You Need to Ask Before a Disciplinary Enquiry

6 June 2017

One of the problems managers have when it comes to difficult, ineffective, poor-performing employees, is our emotional state. By the time we decide we must act, either because the behaviour has been going on for so long or the incident is so serious, we are really angry and want nothing more than to chase the…

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Sexual Harassment and Other Misconduct: Employer Risk

5 September 2016

Employers beware! The appointment and promotion of managers and supervisors is much more risky than you thought. Since no one is a perfect fit, we are used to assessing whether a candidate’s shortcomings can be dealt with through training and coaching. A lack of technical and people-management skills is the risk we know about. But…

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Managing Problem Employees: It’s About Action not Rules

11 June 2015

The lively discussion around shared issues was as important as the planned input at the June Simply Communicate workshop on Managing Problem Employees. But perhaps the key learning of the day (although it seems so obvious that it’s hardly fair to call it a learning) is that people management is all about taking action. We can have the…

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Ellen Tshabalala: an unqualified failure

22 December 2014

I heard a snatch from a radio programme last week that tried to assess what people thought of Ellen Tshabalala’s resignation as chairperson  of the SABC. I was annoyed that the reporter, who was interviewing members of the public, focussed on the importance or otherwise of having proper qualifications. That misses the point entirely and is…

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Truth, lies and the workplace

22 September 2014

If you are a fan of detective fiction, you will know that no one tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Unfortunately, that part isn’t fiction; it is true of people everywhere, including the workplace. Not many lie outright, but most people fudge the truth. They tell you what they think…

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How sick is your sick leave?

23 June 2014

Most managers have a love-hate relationship with sick leave. We want to be understanding and compassionate – after all, as employees will tell you, they don’t ask to be sick. On the other hand, sickness seldom strikes at a convenient time, and there is never any notice. The manager gets a phone call in the…

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Discipline and performance: seven questions for a manager

9 January 2014

When employees let you down, when they go against your explicit instructions or a known policy, when they fail to follow up with a customer or complete an urgent task, you are going to be angry. In a large organisation there are usually other managers to discuss the issues with, who may bring some perspective…

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