Melissa Kennedy is a labour relations, employment and human
resources specialist who assists clients with proactively managing
compliance, risk and ensuring best practices are in place.
As we set to embark upon the year's end, now is an
appropriate time to begin goal setting and implementing employee
performance objectives for the new year. Establishing clear
expectations which are tied to the overall mission and vision of
the organization, and which are aligned with and cascaded from
senior leadership, will ensure that employees understand their role
and value within the organization, and will work to continually
motivate them throughout the year.
A performance management program should be proactive and
specific. Goals and objectives should be aligned with the
individual's duties; ensuring that they are challenging, but
reasonable, and not so overly aggressive that they be unattainable
and seemingly discourage and demotivate the employee. Performance
management programs provide an appropriate foundation to the
organization's succession planning efforts and oversight of the
talent pipeline. Performance objectives can also be tied to the
annual merit or variable compensation structure, to further
encourage and drive results.
It is important that manager's continually check in to
ensure that employees are on track with meeting the established
performance objectives; a good practice is to meet periodically
throughout the year and for a formal mid-year review, to determine
whether performance is on target to achieve goals and objectives.
This proactive approach will ensure that any inefficiencies or
shortcomings are met with support, guidance and clear direction;
modifying or revising targets, where necessary.
If employee performance is continually of concern and below
expectations, it is important to promptly address this with the
individual and document accordingly. Where appropriate, the
development of a performance improvement plan (PIP) can seek to
correct employee behaviour and get them back on track; formal
disciplinary action may be necessary in particular circumstances
where the employee is not actively participating in improving their
performance. Should it be necessary to end the employment
relationship, the organization will be in a good position, having
demonstrated their due diligence in managing the employee's
Unfortunately, reasonable accommodation for employees in the workplace continues to be the source of significant litigation and even today we continue to see outrageous examples of employers behaving badly.
A former teacher at Bodwell High School has learned a valuable lesson from the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal— it is not discriminatory for an employer to offer child-related benefits to only employees with children.
We are now beginning to see reported cases involving charges and subsequent fines laid against employers for failing to provide information, instruction and supervision to protect a worker from workplace violence.
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