Robbie Kunreuther is the Director of Government Personnel Services (GPS). GPS provides 1 to 3-day seminars to Federal agencies in four subject areas: Dealing with performance and conduct issues; Developing sensible performance appraisal criteria; Fostering cooperative labor-management relations; and Applying mediation skills in the workplace. Over the years, Robbie has trained thousands of Federal supervisors, managers, HR specialists, and union officials. For more information about him and GPS, go to trainingfeds.com.
The “Weingarten Right” stems from a Supreme Court decision that forever changed labor relations. The author looks at the history of this court ruling and how it applies to labor relations in government. He also provides suggestions for each of the players involved in disciplinary meetings to help ease what can often be a stressful situation.
The author says that the disciplinary process used by human resources offices in government hasn’t changed over the last 35 years and that it also doesn’t work. He outlines another approach that he says agency human resources officers should instead use that is much more effective in disciplining problem employees.
The author discusses some of his thoughts concerning performance improvement plans. As he states in the article, “While I wish for a Federal workforce in which every employee occupies a job they are capable of performing, the thoughts that follow concern those unfortunate cases where a Fed is occupying the wrong job.”
What defines a “good” or “effective” labor organization and its leadership? The author says that he has recently been encountering a rash of agency officials with a profoundly negative experience of their employee representatives. He describes why he believes this to be the case and what he believes leads to these negative attitudes and experiences.
Should two employees with different work histories, attitudes, and behaviors receive the same discipline for the same offense? While this may seem like a simple question, the author highlights a scenario that makes it more complicated and explains why federal managers should not always apply consistent discipline.
The author says that there are too many managers who believe it’s impossible to rid the government of unacceptable performers, but that a recent report from the GAO shows otherwise. He outlines some reasons why managers tend to freeze when addressing problem employees as well as some suggestions for ways to better deal with these types of situations.
Which is worse for a Federal agency to have, a bad employee or a bad supervisor? No doubt, the government would rather have neither, but the author says the effects of inept, biased, or malevolent leaders are among the greatest risks to your agency’s mission.