In a previous article that I posted a few weeks ago (under the title CA(SA) – Are You Claiming Your Place as the ‘Boss’ or are you Playing ‘Mr Nice Guy’?) methodologies to claim your authority were discussed.
If you still find that your team is pulling together, it’s time to go to the next level.
If you can, look for something to impose your authority. You might send an email reminding everyone of the company’s working hours and their obligation to stick to them.
So far you have not been called upon to do anything too confronting.
Maybe you are unaware of this but the Labour Act sets out procedures that need to be followed before an employee can be dismissed. The process is actually beneficial to both employer and employee as it calls for a series of corrective actions that need to take place before the employee can be dismissed. Both parties have the chance to communicate any misunderstandings before the employer has no other alternative but to dismiss the employee.
Use this process to your best advantage:
- Step 1: Call in Miss Personality into a private meeting in your office. She is usually the instigator and other members of you team are taking direction from her. Explain that in order for the team to win, you need her co-operation. Tell her that it is imperative that you have the person in her role being focused and meeting expectations. Inform her that you would prefer her to be that person as she has the experience and skill but also make it clear that if she does not perform you will be forced to ‘make the necessary changes’. Then ask her if she chooses to be on board – give her the choice.
- Step 2: If there is no improvement, start the formal corrective process. Again call her into a meeting but this time ensure that a HR official is present. Point out that she is not meeting expectations and that this is a formal verbal warning. Again remind her of the importance of her co-operation and that you would prefer to have her in the job but you need her to step up. Stress that it is her choice. If she performs she will be valued and embraced. But if she does not then you will take the matter to the next level.
- Step 3: If the result remains unsatisfactory, call her into another meeting together with the HR manager and issue her with a formal written warning. Again inform her the importance of her role and it remains her choice if she wants to get on board or face further corrective action.
- Step 4: If she continues to resist get her out the system! Hand the matter over to HR and commence dismissal procedures. This includes a final written warning and ultimately a formal ‘hearing’ in which she will need to justify why the company should not dismiss her.
The important thing is not to back down at any stage. Although this is unpleasantly confrontational, you usually can rely on HR to back you up. Just be sure that HR are involved right from the beginning. You will not get their support if you call them in at the end where they will probably have to spend hours of wasted time at the CCMA fixing your mess.
Know that you cannot be effective unless you gain the respect of your staff. Also know that your boss is assessing your promotion to the next level on this very issue.
If you are being overlooked for a promotion, examine your abilities in light of the above. If you want your staff to be your buddies you will slow down your progress.
Take back your power . . . today!