Friday September 5 2014

Sacking may not solve incompetence

By Isaiah Kitimbo

“My job is simple; to hire and fire,” said a human resource manager. This statement, meant to overemphasise the role of HR and a call for better performance, is commonly adduced by many hirers. But HR as a function goes beyond simply hiring and firing to entail other important aspects such as training, maintenance and development.
HR rallies all company departments to achieve the business strategy. This is achieved through ensuring that there are right people in the right positions and at the right time. Other measures such as evaluating jobs and managing employee performance in an ideal working environment take centre stage.
Training is a crucial component, which helps to improve employees’ skills. It can be conducted either on or off the job. The company can understand the employees’ training needs after conducting a training needs analysis.
Training is an important but often ignored aspect; some companies either have no budgets or cut to fund other sectors yet prioritising it helps companies to achieve set targets.
Instead of firing employees for failing to hit their targets, which is usually interpreted as incompetence, managers should assess the underlying factors. The coach, for instance, might be the problem. If the team is ill-trained and supervised, poorly remunerated and with poor working conditions, delivery on targets can only remain a dream.
Training should be conducted at all levels. For instance, a manager may lack people-management skills, which affects the team’s morale.
Simply sacking employees will only breed more problems. The company will spend more money on sourcing replacements, training and development them, which can be managed better by identifying and training potential regular workers.
Also, the brand suffers when a company experiences a high staff turnover rate. Before, you fire for incompetence, first assess your investment in training employees to deliver better results.
The writer is a human resources expert and a journalist