Capability vs. Disciplinary – Case Study

In a recent blog we looked at performance management and how to distinguish between issues of capability and misconduct when dealing with the underperformance of employees.  To bring this issue to life we would like to introduce you to Annabelle.

Annabelle has worked as a marketing assistant in the marketing department of retail company for 3 years, during this time she has consistently underperformed, indeed underperformance was an issue from day one for Annabelle when she failed her probationary period.

Taking a proactive approach rather than instantly dismissing Annabelle, her employer provided some coaching.  This initially had a positive effect on her performance but unfortunately in recent months things have begun to slip again, she repeatedly, and frustrating for her manager, makes the same mistakes over and over, does not take guidance well, often has to have tasks explained to her several times and makes consistent inaccuracies in proposals  .

Now a major problem for her employer, Annabelle’s mistakes are costing them money and having a detrimental effect on the marketing team and business as a whole.  Annabelle’s manager is results driven, he feels she has been given an easy ride by the business and undertakes a formal review of her work.

On the flip side, Annabelle feels that she has not been supported by her employer, that she is not being properly managed and that she lacks coherent and consistent guidance.

Annabelle’s manager invites her to a meeting to discuss the on-going issues with her performance and although this meeting is handled in a professional manner, with legitimate concerns raised and examples of underperformance given, Annabelle feels bullied and raises a formal grievance against her manager.

Both sides are now aggrieved – what is the solution?


Check out next week’s blog for the solution to this problem.