Policy 310 - Corrective Action for Performance Problems
Santa Clara University needs the very best skills, efforts and performance of its employees to fulfill its mission. Periodically, performance problems may arise and must be addressed by the supervisor and employee involved, or other appropriate University resources (e.g., second level supervisors). Supervisors use a variety of corrective action approaches as needed to address the specific nature of each performance problem. Their goal is to identify and resolve problems as early as possible through timely and effective partnership with employees.
Corrective action includes:
Identify the problem. Either the employee or the supervisor may first identify the problem. Examples could include poor work product, strained working relationship, attendance problems, etc.
Supervisors assess and clarify the problem by talking with the employee and others as appropriate. Problems can stem from skill deficiencies, behavioral styles, lack of clear communication, personal crisis, or some combination of these or other factors.
Supervisors establish clear performance expectations with the employee for the correction of the problem. The employee needs to know what is considered successful resolution of the problem and what support and/or resources may be available to help meet the expectations.
Supervisors work with the employee to identify appropriate measures to correct the problem. Employees need to accept responsibility for correcting the problem. Examples could include obtaining training for skill problems, making other family arrangement for attendance problems, stopping offensive behavior, etc.
Supervisors communicate what the outcome will be if the problem is not corrected. Examples could include a revised job assignment or termination as appropriate.
Supervisors and employees communicate regularly about how progress is or is not being made. This process usually includes discussions and written documentation. Either may initiate the communication. Both are responsible for engaging in it constructively. The supervisor is responsible for documenting progress discussions.
Supervisors conclude corrective action. Either the problem is resolved or other action is taken as described.
In many circumstances, the performance problems can be corrected through informal conversations between the supervisor and the employee and no documentation is required. In more serious or complex situations, the problem statement and the corrective action expected should be written down by the supervisor and reviewed with the employee to minimize the chance for miscommunication. Contact Human Resources for guidance in composing the document and submit a copy for inclusion in the personnel file.
In some circumstances the problem is so serious that extraordinary measures other than typical corrective action may need to be taken. Examples of such problems include gross misconduct, physical or emotional incapacity or behavior which is threatening or potentially harmful to others. Examples of extraordinary measures include suspension, and/or termination. Contact Human Resources immediately in such circumstances for guidance.
Termination of Employment
If the corrective action is unsuccessful or the problem is so severe as to render corrective action inappropriate or impractical, termination of employment can occur. The supervisor will recommend whether to terminate or retain the employee. Any decision to terminate an employee must be reviewed with Human Resources prior to the employee being informed of that fact. If termination is being contemplated, the supervisor should contact Human Resources as early as possible for guidance.
The employee has the primary responsibility to maintain his or her performance consistent with the supervisor’s expectations and to engage in constructive interaction to correct performance problems. The supervisor has the responsibility to establish and communicate performance expectations and to take appropriate action when problems arise. Human Resources is responsible to be a resource to the supervisor and employee in their efforts to correct performance problems.
Human Resources can provide additional coaching, training and written information and guidance regarding dealing with performance problems. See also Conflict Resolution (309).
Policy Approved: October 23, 1998
Last Updated: October 28, 1998