An often difficult aspect of running a business is dealing with performance and conduct issues.
No manager I know enjoys dealing with them. In fact, most have many sleepless nights and can get very sick over having to be the ‘bad guy’ – particularly when the matters are serious.
Below is a quick overview on the differences between performance and conduct, and some key trends to watch out for.
These areas can definitely be complicated as they both have different ways you need to address them so we always recommend getting advice from either us or lawyers to ensure you are protected.
First off, let’s define performance vs. conduct.
Performance problems can involve a “can’t do” issue while conduct problems generally involve a “won’t do” or “should not have done” issue.
So, what are some examples of both:
Typically involves an ability to perform the critical requirements of the role to an acceptable level. Examples include missing important project deadlines, errors, incomplete work or other accuracy issues, poor customer service skills and/or work capacity being below others.
Typically involves breaking a workplace rule, regulation or standard of conduct. Examples include time and leave abuse, tardiness and absenteeism, damaging property, improper or unauthorised release or use of sensitive information, dishonesty such as making false statements or falsifying documents, refusal to follow a direct order, inappropriate use of technology/social media or equipment including downloading material from unauthorised sites, drinking or gambling while working, dress code violations, failure to comply with safety standards, harassment or disruptive or disorderly conduct.
They definitely seem to be conduct related. Below are four issues emerging as early trends in regards to employees’ conduct to watch out for:
Not living the values.
First, when I talk about issues with people ‘not living the company values’ what I mean is they are not a good fit to the company ‘vibe’.
(Note: This issue is another reason why it is so important to clearly define what your company values are, who is a good fit and who is not a good fit for your business. This also provides the employee with the choice of whether they would like to join and be part of your team)
Typically, the person doesn’t comply with company values by not being team oriented, disrespectful to others or not passionate about the customer or the duties of their role.
The next biggest issue is the abuse of time.
From a business perspective, abusing time can be seen in the same way as theft. It’s exactly like a person taking a hundred bucks from petty cash, but the person is just doing it in a different way.
So – it is a reality that employees need time to do things like go to the bank for loans and have medical appointments that don’t always fit into a lunch break so that does need to be taken into account, however, it is the times when you see a person’s performance lagging and still abusing the time that are the problem.
Misrepresenting work is another hot button issue.
This is when an employees isn’t doing their job properly, realise they aren’t, but don’t care. Examples include:
Essentially, people lie in order to cover up laziness.
Finally, with people leaving the company and/or owning a side business, companies worry about assets and intellectual property.
There are growing concerns over employees misusing assets for personal gain. Activities that worry business owners:
Take a look at your people to see what they doing and if they are doing what they should be. If you don’t have this clearly defined – then that might be a good starting point to see if they are delivering to your expectations.
Ask yourself these questions:
If the answer is yes, then that’s typically when you realise there could be some performance or conduct issues that needs to be addressed.
To help, I suggest that every 3 months clients step back and review:
Obviously a sales target or rather a lack of hitting that target is pretty obvious sign that there are issues.
The first job is to identifying what the issue is and whether the issue is performance and/or conduct issues so we can then understand how to tackle them.
If you find performance or conduct issues and you want help dealing with them, contact BespokeHR to confidentially discuss next steps.
What performance or conduct issues are you seeing this year?