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Having the difficult conversation

Having the difficult conversation. Working with underperforming staff. Outline of day. Dealing with underperformers. Industrial processes require encouragement, coaching, establishing standards and goal setting

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Having the difficult conversation

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  1. Having the difficult conversation Working with underperforming staff

  2. Outline of day

  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

  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.

  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.

  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

  7. Personality and conflict

  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.

  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.

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

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

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

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

  19. 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. 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. 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. Personal problems external to work • May be short term • Illness • Marriage or family breakdown • Debt • Problems with children • Problems with eldercare

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