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HR 101 – Maintain Control of your Staff – Part 7

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Please note that this pertains to South African Labour Relations and Best Practice requirements.

During the course of the several last weeks, we have had a pretty extensive look at some of the more common problems that line managers and SMME’s experience with their staff. I have touched on some of the ways in which to combat these problems but list hereunder some additional thoughts on the subject.

Before I get into any kind of serious detail about the “how to” of controlling the situation, let me make it very clear from the get go that it is not necessarily the Manager’s fault that the staff want to get up to the mischief that they manage to get themselves into. Human nature being what it is means that there will always be those individuals who are lazy or who actually are not interested in what they are doing or in fact have no interest in being an integral part of a team. That is just the way that it is sometimes.

Here’s the thing though, it is incumbent upon the manager to implement measures that control staff and this is usually done in the first instance by putting together preventative and even corrective measures. These measures of course have one of two effects upon the staff. They will either change the behaviour of the staff member, or alternatively where the staff member is just not interested in conforming or getting back into line with the rest of the staff – these measures can and should be used to discipline and where applicable, even dismiss the individuals concerned (be sure to follow the correct procedures though).

The manager, must therefore be able to quickly recognise where there is a problem with rebellious or lazy staff. Staff who are demotivated also need to be monitored closely to ensure that they too start working correctly. Managers need to deal with staff in such a way that they clearly understand that their bad behaviour is not going to be tolerated. Staff who have momentarily ‘lost’ their way, need to be guided back to what they should be doing in a fair, but also firm manner.

Where necessary, swift and appropriate disciplinary action should be taken, which not only deals effectively with the situation, but also is considered fair by the CCMA and the various bargaining councils.

Any kind of procedure must be fair though and disciplinary action taken must always be procedurally correct to ensure that the employer doesn’t end up on the ‘receiving’ end of the wrath of the CCMA.