HR Tip - A promotion that failed

4th Mar 2004

These questions are being answered by Learn HR, a market leader in the provision of HR and payroll training and nationally-recognised professional qualifications.

Q: We promoted a man to a team leader position a few weeks ago, but it just is not working out. What can we do? Can we fire him?

A: You are dealing here with a case of incapability so the first thing you should do is discuss with the man his failings and see if there is some way you can overcome them, for example by further training.

Often people have the technical skills required but lack sufficient confidence to exercise them and need strong support for a time. If your efforts fail then you should do all that you can to redeploy him. And if ultimately that fails, you would be entitled to dismiss him on the grounds of incapability.

You should give this man as much help and tolerance as you can. Whether or not he applied for the job, you considered him suitable, therefore your judgment clearly was at fault. In future you should look carefully at your assessment and selection processes and also make clear to people who are being promoted what is likely to happen if they fail. This way they will at least know what to expect.

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By sima1
04th Mar 2004 14:59

I agree with the previous comments made but would emphasise the need to sit down with the person concerned and discuss this in detail, i.e. is there something else (outside of work )that is inpacting on their ability to carry out their duties? If it is a capability issue then from your discussions you should be able to identify the gaps and agree between you how you can best support them to enable them to achieve the required standard, set against an agreed time frame, how you will measure whether or not they meet the standard and finally a clear indication of what will happen if they don't meet this. It may also be useful to reflect on what support/induction you provide to both external and internal employees when they start with you. This is something we have found useful to ask candidates at interview how can we support them if they are appointed to the post both short and longer term. Good luck

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