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Having the difficult conversation Working with underperforming staff.

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Presentation on theme: "Having the difficult conversation Working with underperforming staff."— Presentation transcript:

1 Having the difficult conversation Working with underperforming staff

2 Outline of day TimeTopic 9.30 – 9.40Welcome and opening 9.40 – 9.50Legal industrial context revisited – 11.15Working with underperforming staff –personalities and issues – 11.45Morning tea – 12.30Strategies for working with underperforming staff – 1.00Strategies for managing self Close and light lunch 2

3 Dealing with underperformers Industrial processes require encouragement, coaching, establishing standards and goal setting Work well in many cases where there is an appreciation of underperformance or of difficulties in the workplace. Often fail because –Lack of documentation of actions –Staff member denies underperformance or causing problems in the workplace –Staff member blames supervisor personally for failure/ issues –Whole process is intensely stressful for supervisor Effectively deal with underperformance need understanding of –Process –How to deal with difficult personality types –How to manage oneself 3

4 Unsatisfactory performance/Flinders EBA In the case of performance, the staff member has been provided with the opportunity to understand the University’s expectation of performance in the relevant academic profile The staff member has been afforded reasonable opportunity and support to respond to and remedy concerns about performance and/or conduct The supervisor determines that despite reasonable efforts to remedy, the staff member’s performance and’/or conduct continues to be unsatisfactory The supervisor makes a formal report to the executive dean. 4

5 Academic Misconduct/ Serious Misconduct/ EBA [‘Misconduct’] means: conduct or behaviour of a kind which constitutes an impediment to the carrying out of an employee’s duties or to an employee’s colleagues carrying out her or his duties; conduct or behaviour which is inconsistent with an employee’s obligations to the employer, as specified in A8 of this Agreement; or dereliction of the duties required of an academic office. [‘Serious misconduct’] means: serious misbehaviour of a kind which constitutes a serious impediment to the carrying out of an academic’s duties or to an academic’s colleagues carrying out their duties; serious dereliction of the duties required of an academic office, or conviction by a court of an offence which constitutes a serious impediment of the kind referred to above. 5

6 Overview of process Document the alleged unsatisfactory performance/ misconduct/serious misconduct Ensure that staff member has been given opportunity to improve performance ( unsatisfactory performance) Staff member must see and may comment on the allegations If unresolved, pass to a senior staff member (usually VC or DVC) who will determine if misconduct/serious misconduct occurred and nominate a penalty. Staff member may seek internal review of the finding and the penalty Review Committee involves a Chair, Union representative, University representative Review Committee reports to VC who may determine the matter Possibility of further appeal to FWA 6

7 PERSONALITY AND CONFLICT 7

8 8 High Conflict Personalities Characteristics –Speak at you –Speak loudly –Changeable behaviour – may suddenly see you as a threat and hence react aggressively, –Blame others and you for all problems –May be physically imposing –May be attractive and persuasive –Relieves intense internal stress by inappropriate, often angry behaviour –Fear of abandonment –Will seek validation from others about appropriateness of behaviours

9 Drivers Chronic feelings of internal distress Thinks the cause of distress is external to him or her Behaves inappropriately to relieve distress Distress continues Receives negative feedback on performance/ behaviour, which in turn triggers further inappropriate reactions. 9

10 Behavioural patterns Repeated interpersonal conflict Identifies himself as a helpless victim Inability to reflect on his/her own behaviour Does not absorb behavioural or performance feedback Vehemently denies performance or behavioural issues Denies personal responsibility for performance improvement or behavioural modification Seeks others to confirm that he or she is justified in their actions Focuses intense energy on blaming others and constantly is analysing the situations. 10

11 11

12 Aggression - bully Characteristics Asserts power because of authority and position, physical size or gender May be highly effective and valued in organisation –Not easily subject to control by the organisation –Selects staff who can be controlled, and denigrates others –Works “on the margin” of the organisation of policies and rules when they appear to block action –Often uncompromising,loose with the truth –Behaviour can elicit inappropriate responses so it becomes who is confusing who is the bully –Exploits structures and loyalties 12

13 13 So I blame you for everything... Whose fault is that?

14 Persons without insight into others and themselves Poor performers Persistent blamers Characteristics –Does not accept responsibility for actions –When confronted attempt to refute suggestions or allegations of wrong doing/ poor performance –Focus on minor details rather than the core issue –Will side track conversation into claims of your or others incompetence –Will seek validation from others as to their competence or correctness of actions 14

15 15 In addition to our speaker’s many and considerable lifetime achievements, she is widely known as a piece of work.

16 Narcissists –Characteristics Focus on own needs and agendas Highly ambitious Self important May be unrealistic about abilities Blame others or the system for failure Has a sense of entitlement Lacks empathy May be exploitative and take advantage of others to achieve their own ends Envious 16

17 17 He just isn’t happy unless he is in the eye of the hurricane

18 Histrionic people Characteristics –Exaggeration –Driving need to be the centre of attention –Overly dramatic –May create conflict situations to meet their need for drama or attention –Turn small issues into big issues –May refuse to let go of an issue –Often will be involved in a series of “dramas” outside of work 18

19 19 For God’s sake, think! Why is he being so nice to you.

20 Manipulative Characteristics –Deceitful but plausible –Work to put others in a bad light ( often subtly) –May be unethical –Not concerned about consequences for others –Little remorse for bad actions –Often ambitious –Will demean you to others –Often lack support from others. 20

21 Substance abusers Characteristics –Unexplained absences from work –Unstable or unpredictable personal style –Good at covering up for substance use or mistakes etc. –May perform quite well –Will deny abuse/problem 21

22 Stress Characteristics –High levels of anxiety –Difficulty in being coherent, –Often verbose –Seek support and reassurance from others –Sometimes incapacity to complete tasks in agreed time frame –Blame the system or supervisor. 22

23 Personal problems external to work May be short term –Illness –Marriage or family breakdown –Debt –Problems with children –Problems with eldercare 23


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