In this article, Naomi Kleynhans takes a closer look at how a specialised consulting company turned the unsatisfactory performance of their administrative assistants around by developing a new, comprehensive job profile that provided clear performance directives. This, together with targeted training and mentorship, resulted in an astonishing outcome.
by Naomi Kleynhans
Naomi Kleynhans is a senior implementation consultant responsible for job profiles and skills audits at CBAR Systems and can be contacted at Naomi@cbars.co.za
About Golder and Associates: Golder and Associates is an employee owned company with 7000 employees globally who operate from 160 offices located throughout Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America and South America. Golder professionals provide consulting, design and construction services in earth, environment and related areas of energy.
Problem statement A whole group of employees – all administrative assistants serving in a highly specialised consulting environment - were about to lose their jobs due to incapacity to perform the duties required of them. Management could not afford to carry staff that was not providing the required level of service, but they also wanted to follow best practice standards for Human Resources management.
The action plan The Human Resources team, in consultation with all relevant stakeholders, lead the development of the action plan to address the performance issues. Cognisance was taken of HR best practices as well as Schedule 8 of the South African Labour Relations Act – CODE OF GOOD PRACTICE: DISMISSAL [Schedule 8 amended by s. 57 of Act No. 42 of 1996 and by s. 56 of Act No. 12 of 2002].
The 7 point plan of action:
Review the current job profile and upgrade the position if it is found that the outputs expected from the post did not meet the current output criteria for the position;
Inform all stakeholders regarding the review of the position requirements as well as the review of the suitability of incumbents and the implications this will have for all incumbents;
Develop a new job profile, stating the key deliverables linked to the balanced scorecard;
Develop a comprehensive technical and cross critical competency profile that can be used for competence assessment as well as identification of training needs;
Compile and present an intensive and targeted training programme to address the requirements of the position;
Assess the performance of incumbents to decide on suitability for the position;
Institute a formal incapacity procedure for incumbents that were not performing suitably according the performance standards required. »