HR And Training | Collins McNicholas

I have to fire an employee – how do I approach this situation with confidence?

I have to fire an employee – how do I approach this situation with confidence?Question: I have been a manager of a software company for a number of years. I have successfully dealt with a number of issues, such as confronting people on their performance, etc. However, a more serious issue has arisen with one employee. We have gone through all the internal steps (including a series of warnings, etc) with this individual and the final conclusion is that we need to terminate their employment. I have never done this and the idea of having the conversation is making me feel uncomfortable. How do I approach this situation with confidence? Answer: This is a difficult situation for any manager. It’s never easy and can be stressful for all involved. It can be difficult to draw a line in the sand as emotions can run high. Some employees may have convinced themselves that they will never get terminated as they believe they have been trying to improve and that you may accept this extra effort. However, if performance has not improved dramatically or a situation has disimproved you have to deal with it. My feeling is that many companies wait too long to deliver the bad news, as managers feel they want to give the benefit of the doubt to the person. But often a false hope sets in on the part of the employee, so do not procrastinate. There are a number of steps I’d recommend: Gather all facts: Always document any problems and the company’s responses, such as discussions, verbal warnings, etc. Keep a log that includes dates, times and relevant details – it is not a crime to be specific and factual. Include situations observed by supervisors, situations reported by co-workers and complaints by customers. Don’t terminate without warning: There should be no surprises unless it is gross misconduct and an immediate termination. The employee should experience coaching and performance feedback over time so they can see why they are failing. Provide whatever assistance is needed to encourage and support them and document a performance plan for them. A performance improvement plan (PIP) will give the employee specific goals with measurable improvement requirements. This may be all that is needed to get their performance back on track. If not, you need to devise an exit plan. Meet face-to-face: Never terminate an employee’s contract without sitting down with them – give them the courtesy that you would extend to any human being. This sets the tone around your ethics as an employer and how you deal with people. Have a witness present: Afford a fair hearing to your employee with someone from HR or another member of the management team. Ask them to take the notes and ensure the discussion remains on track. Follow this process in all such circumstances so your employees feel they are treated fairly, equally, and with professionalism. This limits your liability in difficult situations. Avoid lengthy conversations: Avoid pleasantries which may give the wrong impression so there is no room for misinterpretation or ambiguity. If the employee has received coaching and a performance improvement process then they have already received feedback so you don’t need to go through it all again. They may still ask ‘why?’ so do have a concise answer ready – and stick to this line! Don’t argue or blame: An employee may want to retaliate ­- just listen, don’t engage in a tit-for-tat discussion and don’t point the finger of blame. Tell them you “understand they feel that way,” but that the decision is final. Once you’ve stated the facts, don’t get drawn into further explanation. Avoid any drama: Have your meeting in a neutral, private place such as a conference room – you don’t want to humiliate them in front of colleagues. Once the news has been delivered, escort the employee to gather any personal belongings and collect their access keys and any company belongings. Do not leave a terminated employee alone with sensitive files or systems, as their judgement may not be the best at that time. Thank them: Depending on the situation it does not hurt to state you appreciate their contribution to the company – but keep it simple. Firing someone is never easy but stay calm and professional. Leaving a poor performing or disruptive employee in place is never good for business and as a manager, you are responsible for managing the business.           Michelle Murphy Director Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group This article was originally published in the Business section of the Sunday Independent, July 2nd, 2017. The original article can be...

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7 Key Points for Payroll in 2017

I had the pleasure of attending the annual Irish Payroll Association (IPASS) conference on 11th May 2017 in Croke Park Dublin. IPASS is Ireland’s premier provider of Payroll and VAT training and certification. The conference included presentations from IPASS, the Revenue Commissioners and PWC. Here are some helpful key points that were discussed/highlighted on the day: 1. GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – This issue is highly topical at the moment. The regulation will come into effect on the 25th May 2018. If you are a registered Data Processor or Data Controller you need to be ready to conform to the policy by this date. Please click this link for further information. This regulation will impact any information we hold on payroll, accounts, and any information on our database relating to clients, suppliers and candidates/temps. 2. New Revenue Website – During the first week in June 2017, the Revenue Commissioners will be launching a brand new website. Revenue have done research into how websites are generally used to ensure that their new look web pages are user friendly and easy to navigate. They have spent time removing jargon and converting technical speak into straight forward narrative. This should make registering employment, resolving tax queries etc. more simplistic. Revenue have acknowledged however that not everyone is IT literate and they will still need to be prepared to answer phone calls and postal correspondence. 3. Illness Benefit – There was a lot of discussion around the processing of illness benefit. The consensus is that the processing of this on behalf of Welfare and Revenue is problematic at employer and payroll processing level. Revenue...

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Becoming Better Leaders by taking a “Whole-person” Approach

Guest Blog: the following article was written by Michelle Hammond, Ph.D., University of Limerick. When did you first learn about leadership? Chances are you knew something about leadership long before entering the workplace by observing parents or teachers, taking on leadership experiences in school and sport, and even through planning activities with siblings or friends.  Leadership happens everywhere and so we should not limit our opportunities to develop leadership to experiences and training programs at work. Although definitions vary, I consider leadership to be a relational process geared towards bringing people to achieve a common goal.  Anytime you are relating to people and trying to work together to achieve something shared you’re engaged in leadership. Taking a whole-person approach involves considering connections across all areas, or domains, of our lives. There are at least three major benefits to considering a whole-person approach to leader development.  First, we gain synergies by examining transferable skills across the connections we identify.  I recently heard a great story of a leader who had been given feedback that she should work on being less emotionally reactive and defensive when her employees approach her with issues or setbacks.  She noticed a connection in her “over-reaction” to her teenage sons and took the opportunity to practice being more composed both at work and at home. This practice both sped up her development and created improvements in her relationships at work and at home (i.e. it was both more efficient and effective). In addition to transferable skills, taking a multi-domain approach helps us to grow from the ways in which areas of our lives are different. These disconnections...

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And the President of the United States 2017 – 2021 is Donald Trump!

Although there was no clear favorite throughout the campaign, America has made its decision for this presidential term! This time of year always brings about great discussion, be it at home in the sitting room or out having a coffee, about what the ideal president would look like. Alongside the president needing to have the skills, capabilities and knowledge to operate effectively within the role, there are also key personality traits which we would hope the president would possess. As the list could be endless, I decided to choose the top four traits i.e. jigsaw pieces I think are critical to operate effectively in this position……IF we could build an Ideal Presidential Personality Profile. Before we get into the nitty gritty of what these traits look like, let’s start of by defining what a personality trait is. They are defined as distinguishing qualities or characteristics that are the embodiment of an individual and would determine one’s patterns of behaviour, temperament and emotion. On the other hand, skills are the learned capacity to carry out specific tasks. The Four Qualities are: Charisma Charisma can be defined in many ways, however, it is frequently referred to as a rare quality of leaders to command a room and inspire individual’s enthusiasm and devotion with their sheer magnetism. This friendly and pleasant demeanor can soften even the toughest critic. Even if you’re not described as a ‘people person,’ flashing a friendly smile during discussions can have great benefits, especially if you are president. Persuasiveness In order to successfully do any leadership role, never mind lead a country, people have to believe in the individual...

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Overeducated Staff & Matching Skills to Job Needs

There was an interesting article published by the Irish Times last Friday on problems surrounding an overeducated workforce. Collins McNicholas’ HR Services Consultant, Caroline Ward, was quoted in the article, emphasizing the importance of factors beyond education level when recruiting staff, such as motivation, attitude, and culture fit. Check out the article here:...

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Recruitment & Assessment – Is it all about playing the game?

In recent years there has been an increase in what is termed “gamification” in the assessment process.  This refers to using gaming technology and themes traditionally associated with computer or video games to form an assessment during the recruitment process.  This can involve building simulated online versions of the potential work environment, developing interactive games and trying to incorporate “fun” into the assessment process.  A recent article in “Assessment & Development Matters” pointed to the Marriott Hotel Group, L’Oreal and several other multinational highly respected graduate and high volume employers as favouring this method of assessment for recruitment. It might be fun and engaging but is it effective? Why use gaming technology as part of the assessment process? Organisational brand can be promoted throughout the assessment “game”. High potential to provide a realistic preview of the role for candidates by providing an interactive simulation of the work environment. Assessments can be completed remotely and with limited supervision. It’s “fun”! What are the potential risks? Bias toward younger candidates or those interested in gaming as a hobby. May create a distance between candidates and the hiring company by limiting real communication. Possibility of losing sight of the role’s competencies in the midst of creating a visually impressive tool. Further testing required to prove the process works. For further information on Psychometric Assessments, contact Caroline Ward on 09064 78104 or email...

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