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Kevin's Christmas Challenge: Pick your Wage!!
#71
@ chiz - most sensible post i have seen for ages
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#72
Quote:There would need to be proper checks on people skills and a 'supportive intolerance' of poor work -from individuals as well as employers. If you weren't good enough, you'd be asked to leave.
Legally, it's surprisingly difficult to get rid of someone just because they're bad at their job. You certainly can't ask someone to leave - or "encourage" them to do so - without leaving yourself open to all manner of legal proceedings around unfair dismissal.

In order to sack someone, you have to start proving heavy-duty stuff like Professional or Gross Professional Misconduct. It doesn't really cover an employee who's rubbish at what they're supposed to be doing. Sacking someone under those circumstances would leave you or your organisation open to some potentially expensive and time-consuming challenges via employment tribunals. In order to withstand that, your supervision, management and - dare I say it - staff development and training policies, all have to be written down, known to all employees and absolutely watertight. Don't see many of them about these days. The occasional "restructuring" exercise is a much more efficient and legally-sustainable way of cutting out the dead wood in terms of permanent staff.

In a short-term contract environment, operating a blacklist of individuals might be legally dubious but it's a more pragmatic approach. As long as nobody knows you're doing it.
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#73
Hi Kel, I'm not suggesting blacklists, or sacking people (I've been there, I know what it takes from the sharp end), far from it. I'm talking about creating a culture where doing the job well is the norm, where people do the job they are paid (properly) to do. Not a situation where poor archaeologists are tolerated and paid peanuts. The two things go together in my mind.

Its not necessarily the fault of the archaeologist, too often there is no effective training or support. That is what I want to change. Its what my TAG paper was about, solving the problem of deskilling and disenfranchisement. Hopefully a summary of it is being published soon so you can see what I am talking about in more detail. Its part of a complete change in attitude, drawing a line and admitting past faults and getting it right from now on.

I've seen too many very good and committed archaeologists leave archaeology, and see too many lazy and poor archaeologists still in it, at all grades. Often they don't know how bad they actually are.

There is nothing wrong with being good at a job, and Archaeology is a great job too be good at.
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#74
kevin wooldridge Wrote:Chiz I did say that I didn't intend to undermine the current IfA and BAJR minima, my point of choosing the minimum wage in my fantasy was to point out a contrast between inexperienced and skilled staff. Otherwise I totally agree with you...

Ok, that's great. It just wasn't clear that was what you meant.
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#75
Quote:I'm not suggesting blacklists, or sacking people (I've been there, I know what it takes from the sharp end), far from it.
I was responding to your suggestion that "if you weren't good enough, you'd be asked to leave". My point was that there's no legal way of "asking someone to leave" employment. If they decide to stay put and decline your request, then you can only sack them - and you need more grounds than them just not being good enough. I guess if you ask them to leave and they go without a fight, then you're fine. It's a bit of a gamble though.

I have no issue with trying to raise standards in archaeology - you make excellent suggestions.
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#76
Kel Wrote:I was responding to your suggestion that "if you weren't good enough, you'd be asked to leave". My point was that there's no legal way of "asking someone to leave" employment. If they decide to stay put and decline your request, then you can only sack them - and you need more grounds than them just not being good enough. I guess if you ask them to leave and they go without a fight, then you're fine. It's a bit of a gamble though.

I have no issue with trying to raise standards in archaeology - you make excellent suggestions.

Raising standards in archaeology is always a worthy cause!

In my experience the issue of 'getting rid of' lazy/useless people is all down to the structure of employment and wording of contracts. Several contracts I've had, had a probation period during which both the employee and employer could negate the contract. Seemed sensible to me as long as the probation period was long enough to find out if either the company was ok and the employee wasn't lying about their skills etc.

However, its far better to point out to the said worker their failings - you never know, it might galvanise them to do better! Also not everyone is equally skilled, some are better at some things than others. Its better to use people in situations where they can shine rather than trying to squeeze them into a task that doesn't fit. Of course that's a luxury not always available on a site.......there are always cruddy jobs that no one wants to do though}Smile

But am guessing your talking about entrenched (ho ho) employees with long-term contracts who refuse to leave or change their lazy ways. Your only way forward then is playing the rules game....which can be twisty turny and fraught with grief and hassle.

One option (if your supervising a troublesome/lazy worker) is to take them to task on their shoddy work and/or lazy attitude. You don't have to be nasty, in fact it works best to be polite, accurate and succinct. Then watch and log (in a notebook if your company doesn't have the appropriate paperwork) every infringement the problem person does. You then have a record of the person not following instruction and maybe safety procedures, etc. etc.

Obviously anything after this would rely on the support of your managers

Also, if the problem person makes the mistake of being aggressive (verbally or physically) towards you, then you are usually within your rights to ask them to leave site due to their inappropriate behavior.

The final option is to put said worker on 'punishment detail', and only give them cruddy jobs to do. You can immediately knock back any claims of 'discrimination' by stating that in your opinion you are merely matching people with the jobs that they are best skilled to perform. After all, you wouldn't ask an inexperienced newby to excavate and record a cart burial.

As to a 'black list' whats wrong with having a list of people skill levels? Surely this is the purpose of the skills passport. It just happens that said peoples skill level is 'useless' or 'unemployable.'
As far as I'm aware, it only becomes dodgy and potentially illegal if you infringe on the workers human rights (e.g. legal right to a private life) and if you pass on personal data (covered by the data protection act) to a third party without consent. Or am I wrong here?
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#77
Jack Wrote:But am guessing your talking about entrenched (ho ho) employees with long-term contracts who refuse to leave or change their lazy ways. Your only way forward then is playing the rules game....which can be twisty turny and fraught with grief and hassle.

One option (if your supervising a troublesome/lazy worker) is to take them to task on their shoddy work and/or lazy attitude. You don't have to be nasty, in fact it works best to be polite, accurate and succinct. Then watch and log (in a notebook if your company doesn't have the appropriate paperwork) every infringement the problem person does. You then have a record of the person not following instruction and maybe safety procedures, etc. etc.

performance management - a two way process by which manager and employee can determine how best to get the most out of any job. if 'smart' objectives are not satisfied it is quite possible to let get rid of almost anybody - its the new black
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#78
One company I worked for had a scheme where all staff were under constant assessment with regular managment/staff review meetings to set objectives, log achievements, identify training needs etc etc. That seemed to create an atmosphere where everyone was always aware of what was expected of them and also allowed for the 'process' of logging both poor and outstanding achievement at regular intervals. Appropriate warnings could be issued if needed but staff who showed potential or identified areas where they would like further training were also noted.

What went wrong with that scheme?......oh yeah thats right commercial archaeology came along!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#79
Quote:But am guessing your talking about entrenched (ho ho) employees with long-term contracts who refuse to leave or change their lazy ways. Your only way forward then is playing the rules game....which can be twisty turny and fraught with grief and hassle.
That's exactly what I was talking about, yup.

Quote:One option (if your supervising a troublesome/lazy worker) is to take them to task on their shoddy work and/or lazy attitude. You don't have to be nasty, in fact it works best to be polite, accurate and succinct.
If you're in any way nasty, pretty much everything you do from that point can be legally construed as "harrassment". Keeping your cool is vital.

Quote:Then watch and log (in a notebook if your company doesn't have the appropriate paperwork) every infringement the problem person does. You then have a record of the person not following instruction and maybe safety procedures, etc. etc.

Obviously anything after this would rely on the support of your managers
Anything you do, needs to be in accordance with the employer's written disciplinary proceedings. If they don't have the "appropriate paperwork", then they don't have a policy and you're back into "harrassment". Although I believe Chiz was talking about general incompetence, rather than infringing rules and regs, which would make disciplinary proceedings a lot more clear cut.

Quote:Also, if the problem person makes the mistake of being aggressive (verbally or physically) towards you, then you are usually within your rights to ask them to leave site due to their inappropriate behavior.
As long as you haven't precipitated it with what you've said or done, or the way you've said or done it.

Quote:The final option is to put said worker on 'punishment detail', and only give them cruddy jobs to do. You can immediately knock back any claims of 'discrimination' by stating that in your opinion you are merely matching people with the jobs that they are best skilled to perform. After all, you wouldn't ask an inexperienced newby to excavate and record a cart burial.
That's fair enough, although if it ends up being long-term and then you try and get rid of the worker, you'll have to provide proof (if challenged) that you gave them formal notice of what you considered to be their shortcomings, and then gave them the opportunity and training to overcome them.

Quote:As to a 'black list' whats wrong with having a list of people skill levels? Surely this is the purpose of the skills passport. It just happens that said peoples skill level is 'useless' or 'unemployable.'
As far as I'm aware, it only becomes dodgy and potentially illegal if you infringe on the workers human rights (e.g. legal right to a private life) and if you pass on personal data (covered by the data protection act) to a third party without consent. Or am I wrong here?
A blacklist and the Skills Passport, aren't the same thing. The Skills Passport is in the control of the individual. If they're completely shoddy, then they'll never get any of the boxes ticked on their passport to start with. A blacklist is maintained by an employer - or group of employers. I believe that most legislation in the UK relates directly to the blacklisting of non-union members in unionised environments, although I've seen it twisted comfortably to suit other ends.


Bear in mind that in all this, I've come from a very aggressive and combative employment arena and I'm presenting the worst case scenario. Tempers ran high, summary sackings and failure to follow disciplinary process were common enough not to be shocking, and those with the stomach for a legal challenge could usually win a case for unfair dismissal. If you have a workforce where the useless are happy to take a hint and leave a job on request, then none of the legal nastiness will arise.
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#80
P Prentice Wrote:performance management - a two way process by which manager and employee can determine how best to get the most out of any job. if 'smart' objectives are not satisfied it is quite possible to let get rid of almost anybody - its the new black

I find myself agreeing with PP proper performance management works very well in both directions empowering employee and manager. I have as yet not seen it done properly in commercial archaeology set ups. Where I have seen it working close up it has actually become a system for managing performance related pay. It proved a great incentive especially where training needs were provided for, there were no excuses for not meeting the grade and a financial penalty if you did not.
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