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Title
Counselling of Employees
Description
Counselling is the first step of addressing or correcting the behaviour of the employee. It is an invaluable way of ensuring that the employee knows the rule and cannot later claim ignorance. It is also a way of correcting the behaviour of the employee at a stage when the employee is not up for disciplinary measures yet.
Category
Discipline
Sub Category
Counselling
Document Type
Information Sheet
Filename
Counselling of Employees IS.pdf
Publish Date
17/11/2014
Price
R 60.00
Author
Johanette Rheeder
Document Format
PDF

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Counselling of Employees By Johanette Rheeder When to Council or to Discipline Employers or mangers often waits too long before they start with addressing the misbehaviour or misconduct of employees. Small instances of misconduct is overlooked and the bad behaviour of the employee slowly but surely escalates. The role and benefit of counselling employees on their behaviour came to forefront again in the Sidumo case when the Judge ruled that the behaviour of the employee could have been addressed with counselling. Counselling is the first step of addressing or correcting the behaviour of the employee. It is an invaluable way of ensuring that the employee knows the rule and cannot later claim ignorance. It is also a way of correcting the behaviour of the employee at a stage when the employee is not up for disciplinary measures yet. Counselling can start with informal discussions with the employee. Normally this applies for small deviations in the behaviour of the employee, which often relates to ignorance and inexperience or just bad judgement. The main aim is to informally correct the behaviour of the employee. Once the manager realises that the informal counselling is not effective and the employee continues to misbehave, the manager can move over to formal counselling which entails a formal discussion with HR being involved and the meeting being minuted, with clear guidelines as to what behaviour is unacceptable and what is required of the employee. The employee should be asked to sign these documents and it should be filed on the employee’s personnel file. Disciplinary measures are often chosen when the employee could have been counselled instead. It is the choice of the manager which route to follow, both has the same aim – correcting the behaviour. The Value of Counselling Counselling is an invaluable way of showing that the employer is trying to correct behaviour of the employee. It is also less confrontational and goes a long way to showing goodwill towards an employee and building the relationship rather than jumping to disciplinary action. In more serious cases, it also constitutes evidence during subsequent disciplinary hearings, that the employee knows the rule or the conduct expected of the employee. Recording the Process It is always advisable to record the process, even informally. Many a manager has lost the value of many a counselling session or discussion because it has not been properly recorded. Especially the informal discussions must be recorded, even a brief inscription in a diary or on email constitutes a record and will refresh the memory of the manager. It will be evidence in the hearing as well. Johanette Rheeder (BLC, LLB, LLM(Labour Law), is an Attorney and Labour Law Specialist