Ask HR: Review Not helping Performance

Dear HR:

My supervisor verbally talked to the employee about these issues prior to a Performance Review a few months ago. During the Review, the concerns were discussed again and the employee was given 60 days to correct her performance. According to supervisor, as of today – her 60th day, there has been no improvement. The supervisor is going to give her a written warning with an additional 30 day probation period to correct the addressed concerns. If no improvements are visible within the 30 day period, he will then tell her that further disciplinary action, which may include termination of the employment relationship, will be determined. Is this an appropriate course of action?


HR Answer:

You have already given this employee an opportunity to improve their performance. At this point – I would inform the employee of a definite “end” date to the probationary period and a clear consequence. No more “further action” to be determined, but rather, at the end of the final 30-day “last chance” period, termination will follow if no improvement is seen. To avoid further confusion in the future, your company’s best practice is to have a formal discipline policy available for employees and supervisors to refer to in your employee handbook. Discipline policies should be carefully written so they do not jeopardize the ‘at-will’ status and inadvertently create an employment contract exposing you to potential legal risk. Your policy should allow you the flexibility to skip a step or jump straight to termination when necessary. Cardinal can help you develop and implement disciplinary policies that fit your business while keeping you legally compliant with state and Federal labor laws. Just give us a call.