Discipline and Documentation – Here She Goes Again
When deciding on disciplinary action to be applied to a certain situation, it is important to distinguish between the problems of performance and the problems of conduct to address. Roberta Weston, who works in one of the departments of the hospital, continuously makes mistakes, and her performance is regarded by her supervisor, Sam Best, as inappropriate. It is necessary to determine how Roberta can affect the organization and cause problems when she is terminated and develop an appropriate plan of action to respond to the issue.
The Ways of Causing a “Real Hard Time” for the Organization
One should note that Roberta’s problems in performance require a different reaction from her supervisor than problems in conduct. According to managerial practice, issues in performance are primarily addressed through counseling and training for employees rather than through warnings and punitive actions. The problem is that, despite accentuating the presence of numerous issues in performance in the conversation with Charlene Harrison, the human resource director, Best completed only one performance improvement review in a written form that can be used as the evidence of a problem. He did not provide written performance improvement reviews indicating other problems and follow-up reports for the other two times when Best experienced the same difficulties with Roberta. According to the recommended procedure for such cases, there should also be reports about counseling and possible training opportunities given to Roberta to stimulate her performance. Best reviewed job performance standards with Roberta, provided her with the direction to correct her problem, as well as with the warning regarding expectations to address. Still, there was no documented evidence of conducted counseling sessions and achieved results as Roberta’s performance needed to be monitored closely.
As a result of failing to conduct the procedure of addressing performance issues effectively, Sam and the organization can face certain problems. Being terminated at this stage, Roberta can not only use an appeal procedure but also file the unfair treatment or the unfair labor practice according to the US labor law. Furthermore, Roberta can also sue the organization because of being terminated without credible cause. If Roberta is a member of the labor union, she has more opportunities to protect her interests because of being terminated in the discussed situation with the help of the involvement of the third party. Therefore, it is possible to state that the lawsuits and legal procedures against the healthcare organization with the involvement of outside agencies can cause a “real hard time” for the hospital. This situation can be observed if the procedure of addressing performance issues is not realized effectively.
Plan of Action to Deal with Roberta Weston
To prevent the situation of terminating Roberta following an improper or illegal procedure, it is necessary to develop an action plan that closely addresses the requirements for improving employees’ performance. The first step is to communicate with Roberta and review performance standards related to her position to ensure that she understands them. The results of the meeting need to be reported with a focus on the identified areas for improvement. The second step is the development of the plan of counseling and training for Roberta to give her the direction to correct the problems and address the weaknesses in her performance. She should also be informed about the consequences of non-improvement during a set period. Roberta should be informed in a written form that inappropriate results of further performance appraisals can lead to her termination (a dismissal). All the conducted counseling and training sessions need to be properly documented along with the progress made by Roberta.
The third step is the realization of monitoring procedures, and the employee is expected to be closely observed and supervised with a focus on the goals set in her improvement plan. The fourth step is conducting the performance evaluation after the completion of the improvement plan to check whether the employee has achieved her goals and improved performance according to job standards. All the evaluations made by the manager during the counseling, monitoring, and assessing steps need to be documented and presented in a written form to serve as evidence. To avoid any legal problems after ending the employment relations, it is necessary to guarantee that all the evidence to support the manager’s decision is available in the form of reports, performance appraisals, and records. This documentation will support the realization of each step in the procedure of addressing problems in employees’ performance.
To avoid the situation of filing a lawsuit against the organization for being terminated unfairly and illegally, Sam Best needs to follow the recommendations of the human resource management department. The focus should be on organizing the process of correcting performance appropriately. When documenting all the processes of correcting Roberta Weston’s performance, it is possible to receive all the necessary evidence to support the decision for the dismissal.