Performance and Termination: How Performance Leads to Termination

Introduction

Human resource department’s work is to ensure that staff members are productive and efficient. Employees who do not meet the established expectations stand to lose their jobs. Excellent performance is one of the key principles of employment contract renewal. For example, nurses make mistakes while diagnosing, treating, prescribing medication, and attending to their patients. In most cases, nurses who make such mistakes can lose their jobs. In the United States, employees can be terminated for any unprofessional conduct such as failure to follow managerial policies and procedures, violations of the law, inability to communicate as per the established procedures, etc. However, the Department of Labor has been keen on enforcing the law because some employers can terminate staff members unfairly or without following the due process of the law (Cohen, 2015). This essay discusses the dynamics that affect the relationship between performance and termination in an organization or company.

How Performance Leads to Termination

The law supports proper termination of an employment contract based on an employee's performance and subject to appropriate procedures. A worker can sue the employer if they are fired from their job if the employer does not follow the procedural due process. Title 1 of the Americans With Disabilities Act does not allow discrimination of employees who are qualified regardless of their physical state (United States Department of Justice, 2016). A qualified employee is an individual who meets the necessary prerequisites and can perform a given task without further accommodation. People with disabilities can serve in certain job positions and not in others. At the same time, the National Labor Relations Act does not allow the employer to fire their employees because of their participation in collective bargaining, strikes or picketing, or any other concerted labor activities. Regardless of the performance issue at hand, the HR should exercise fairness and follow the legal proceedings to the letter when firing an incompetent employee. Most HR departments acknowledge the fact that employees can seek legal redress if their employment is terminated unfairly or without following the right procedure. For example, it is both unfair and illegal to fire someone out of anger or on the spot. 

Nonetheless, most human resource departments have systematic procedures that they follow to remove of rogue employees from their payroll. These methods include just work policies and enforcement of rules fairly by using proper disciplinary tools and measures appropriately (Young, 2014). Additionally, the organization should have an effective performance feedback system to assist in self-evaluation, and investigate performance issues thoroughly before commissioning disciplinary actions against the respective employees (Young, 2014). As such, the HR department should explore the veracity of the performance issue in order to ensure compliance with the law. For example, a company has to make sure that firing a physically challenged employee is justifiable on the ground of performance. For example, a physically challenged employee cannot lose their job for failing to stop armed robbers because they are physically not competent to wade off any armed invasion. However, an organization can fire an employee who comes to work while intoxicated by following due process. The term “due process” may also denote aspects such as granting an employee a fair hearing and not diminishing their ability to secure employment in the future. HR should make the employee accept their faults by showing that their actions have violated the rules and established procedures. Therefore, the law supports the termination of an employment contract as long as the employer follows the right procedures.

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The HR may terminate employees’ contracts if their performance threatens  organization’s profitability or existence. Human resource managers have the duty to ensure that their organization achieves success by aligning their roles with the companies’ goals. One of the ways of measuring HR’s success or performance is by measuring how significant, effective, and efficient their actions are in addressing the demand for the organization to be accountable externally, setting organization’s mission and goals, and fostering a strong internal accountability culture (Bassey, 2014). HR has to make employees appreciate the organization’s sense of purpose and objectives. As such, employees should gauge their actions and behavior in the context of the organization’s corporate image and strategic goals. HR has a moral duty to fire anyone who taints the organization’s image. For example, employees who are not productive can either lose their jobs or be reassigned. However, most HR managers cannot retain unproductive employees for strategic reasons. HR managers are more likely to terminate the employment of workers who quarrel, use illicit drugs, or fight while at work, because such behaviors threaten the organization’s teamwork. At the same time, smoking or drinking while at work almost guarantee impaired judgment. Given the fact that employees are supposed to showcase their best talents and capabilities while at work, an intoxicated employee can not deliver the desired results. Therefore, HR can terminate an employee’s contract if he or she underperforms or engages in unethical and unprofessional conduct.  

The HR manager cannot hesitate to fire an employee whenever he or she threatens the investors’ interests in the business. For example, investors have a desire to earn returns on their investments. It is the duty of the employees to represent their organizations in the best way possible through their actions and performance. HR managers’ role as members of a management team makes them vital determinants of an organization’s culture. Employees are crucial stakeholders in showcasing the core values of their organizations. In the globalized world, HR managers are embracing new management tools and organizational policies to create workplace culture that supports the value of diversity in order to have a global image (Barak, 2013). Inclusive and diverse workplaces or organizations generate more revenue because they tap into a variety of talents and cultures (Badgett, Durso, Mallory, & Kastanis, 2013; Okoro & Washington, 2012). HR makes sure that top management supports and facilitates the entrenchment of the culture of diversity in their organization, sometimes by rewriting the organization’s mission and vision to capture the issue of diversity. At the HR level, they foster organizational behavior through disciplinary actions. Employee termination is often the ultimate decision that a human resource manager can arrive at in the context of breach of a performance contract. Employees who fail to perform their duties in accordance with their organization’s diversity policy and programs can lose their jobs. Programs such as team sporting events are some of the activities that create team spirit. However, some workers who fight during organization’s sporting events can be fired in order to act as a warning to the entire team.

Employees may lose their jobs if they fail to follow the directives from their superiors in an environment where there is a proper communication framework within the ranks. HR has to create a sound communication core to support their organizations’ objectives. Human resource managers play a crucial role in creating an excellent communication platform because employees need to appreciate what their superiors expects them to do. Resolutions passed at the top management level need to reach the lowest ranking employees such as custodians and gardeners. However, without proper communication channels in place employees cannot deliver the desired results because they may not know what the board of governors expects them to do and the tools that they have at their disposal. However, the employer will be committing an injustice by firing an employee if the company does not have proper communication channels. Therefore, employees who ignore their managers’ directives risk losing their jobs.

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Conclusion

In summary, human resources manager’s key responsibility is to ensure that employees are both productive and efficient. HR managers follow established rules, guidelines, and policies when making the decision to fire underperforming employees. Employee performance is reflective of the organization’s mission, vision, corporate strategy, and relevant communications from the top management. Excellence performance is one of the key tenets for employment contract renewal. In most instances, employers can terminate one’s employment for any unprofessional conduct such as failure to follow the managerial policies and procedures, violation of the law, failure to communicate as per the established procedures, etc. Most organizations have zero-tolerance policies against employees partaking in certain activities such as fighting with their colleagues. However, any termination of employee contracts has to comply with the law in order to avoid costly litigation. As such, HR departments have to ensure that all their actions adhere to the principles of fairness and justice. There is also a need for HR to have a good employment management policy and framework in order to promote accountability and compliance with the organizational strategies and goals.

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