HR Professional - July/August 2012 - (Page 17)

L E GA L B Y J O H N - E D WA R D C . H Y D E PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT: AVOIDING WRONGFUL DISMISSAL H ow many times do we find ourselves analyzing after the fact, our various communications with our employees? How often do we find ourselves thinking about what we could have done better, particularly when it comes to performance management? We recognize that managing people involves motivating them, managing their expectations, positively communicating the company’s expectations of them and assisting them to achieve. No one wants to hear that their performance is less than expected. Indeed, to some extent, we all define ourselves through our occupations. As the Supreme Court of Canada has noted: …employment is of central importance to our society. As Dickson C.J. noted in Reference Re Public Service Employee Relations Act (Alta.), [1987] 1 S.C.R. 313, at p. 368: Work is one of the most fundamental aspects in a person’s life, providing the individual with a means of financial support and, as importantly, a contributory role in society. A person’s employment is an essential component of his or her sense of identity, self-worth and emotional well-being. I would add that not only is work fundamental to an individual’s identity, but also that the manner in which employment can be terminated is equally important. How we approach performance management will have a profound impact upon an employee, the individual’s present and future contribution and, particularly, the employee’s continued and future employment. The objective of a performance management policy is to set the procedure to be followed when an employee consistently fails to meet the standards required of the company. It should not be focused upon manoeuvering an underperforming employee out of employment, HRPROMAG . c om but it recognizes that termination might be the unfortunate result. Performance management focuses upon three essential elements: • Communication: employees must clearly understand the performance expectations they must meet. • Consistency: performance management policies must be consistently applied in a fair and evenhanded manner and regularly communicated. J u l y / A u g u s t 2 0 1 2 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HR Professional - July/August 2012

Editor's Letter
Leadership Matters
The End of Reviews as We Know Them
Coaching: Blazing Your Own Trail
Mentoring the Future
HR 101
Interview with an HR Hero: Sheila Rider
Off The Shelf
Technology & Privacy
The Last Word

HR Professional - July/August 2012