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To keep or to move on??

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macaroonie
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To keep or to move on??

Postby macaroonie » Sat, 31 Mar 2012 10:11 am

I have a situation. I have a part time employee who is a pleasant enough person, not completely bad at her work but not up to the level i would expect from someone from the west. I suspect working part time is difficult as the whole picture of what is happening can't be seen. I need to constantly adapt to her changing schedule, last minute changes of not being able to come to work on the schedule days and coming on different days instead, and hence missing important scheduled meetings. Her focus is clearly on her family, so time is taken off at each school holiday and a few months off for family trips.

I really need someone full time to be focussed on the work, who can work quickly, think through the scenarios clearly before making decisions. Someone who is really thorough. She says she is a perfectionist, but there are so many lose ends, the work is never totally completed, and someone else has to pick up the pieces. Should i call it quits and get a new person?

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Postby Mi Amigo » Sat, 31 Mar 2012 10:45 am

I'd say yes - if it's adversely affecting your ability to do your job and the operation of the business, then it's time to move to the next stage. Different people have different attitudes to their work and life priorities - nothing inherently wrong in that - but if this person's performance is now incompatible with your needs then I would bite the bullet and look for an alternative.

BTW, is this the same person you were referring to in this thread?

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macaroonie
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Postby macaroonie » Sat, 31 Mar 2012 11:04 am

Thanks MiAmigo - no not the same person! The person in the other thread was truly crazy! that person has 'gone' and life has been fantastic for all. That person didn't want to accept new projects, told HR that because she knew she didn't want to hang around long she thought it would be easier that she didn't take on work as it would be harder to pass on a large number of projects to others. Crazy right, what logic is that? What is she here for then?

This one is different, asks questions like, how do i get a signature? Gosh has she never gotten a signature before from someone? i'm struggling to find out what is going on upstairs to even have to ask such a question.

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Postby nutnut » Sat, 31 Mar 2012 5:23 pm

I guess you can sack them for not being any good at their job, however, you can't really sack someone for being part time, well you can, but I personally think that would be dreadful!

You employed them as part time, right? Of course they are focused on their family, what did you expect? Part time workers do part time for a reason, because they have other priorities.

Suppose it's up to you, if it was me you sacked for "being part time" I'd have you up through the courts faster than you could say "22 hours a week"...

Just my opinion.
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Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 31 Mar 2012 6:47 pm

nutnut wrote:Suppose it's up to you, if it was me you sacked for "being part time" I'd have you up through the courts faster than you could say "22 hours a week"...

Just my opinion.


I guess it'll come down to the employment contract, right? If it says part-time or XX hours, you better have a different reason for firing someone. And most I've seen (granted mine were MNCs that myself or friends worked at) all had pretty specific terms laid out what constituted immediate termination. I'm sure OP knows all this though.

I sure hope your 'western' employee in Singapore doesn't also read one of the biggest expat forums on the Internet either. Might be awkward if they came across this thread in the future.

Sounds like though if she can't figure out how to get a signature, she won't be able to figure out how to use the 'search' function either, so no need worry!

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 31 Mar 2012 7:29 pm

You can always terminate her services for 'lack of corporate fit'. It's done all the time and that way you still have to give notice or salary in lieu, but she's not being terminated for cause, which is not very nice looking on a CV. Or you can approach her to resign for lack of corporate fit. It really doesn't matter one way or the other as there isn't unemployment benefits to draw anyway here.

macaroonie
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Postby macaroonie » Sat, 31 Mar 2012 7:56 pm

Hiya nutnut, it's not the part time per se, it's the constant last minute changes, not being able to get all the work done (and it's not that much work compared with the full timers), and not being able to figure out simple things like getting a signature. I think that perhaps some jobs can't be done part time. Also i feel as though i need to constantly compromise to make her life easier, instead of her being employed to make my life easier.

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Postby nutnut » Sat, 31 Mar 2012 9:35 pm

Sounds like she's just sh1t then, I'd get rid for poor performance!

However, it's partly whomever's fault who employed her part time or allowed an adjustment of hours to let her be part time. If the role cannot be managed as a part time role then it's not necessarily her fault!

But yeah, get rid mate, but be careful how you do it!
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Postby Mad Scientist » Sun, 01 Apr 2012 2:21 am

Macroonie

Methinks the problems lies in you. But before you start to berate let me explain. You had this problem before and of course it is a different situations etc. As the superior or the employer, if you have written all the job description in the employment contract basically you have covered all the bases, then you are within legal rights to hire and fire any employee be it part timers or contract or even full time employee.
There should NO SOFT Heart when comes to this. You have to draw a big fat white line so that employees knows what the demand are and delivers. If you are a good boss and have paid them well and above all tried to be fair and considerate, you should have no second thoughts if employees did not perform to their work.
I used to have more than 500 employees under me. My HR had sometimes came to me for issues like this for advice and approval. My questions to my HR would be like this.
1. Is there any gross misconduct committed which warrants instant dismissal.
2. Did the employee did not perform to the task given?
3. Did the employee given time to get to speed
4. Has the warning letters being issued ?
5. Has the final warning issued to inform the employee that this will be the last straw.
If all has been met then let the employee go.
You cannot get too personal as your business will be affected.
The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.Yahoo !!!

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Postby Global Player » Sun, 01 Apr 2012 5:55 pm

Macroonie, did you talk to her about the problem? Eg. in a coaching session:

- ask her for the impacts/consequences of her behaviour
- get her confirmation that both of you have the same understanding of the problem
- let her propose solutions, discuss them
- both of you agree and commit on a solution
- review after one or two months

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Postby macaroonie » Mon, 02 Apr 2012 11:42 pm

MadScientist your advice is great! I think some jobs just can't be done part time. People can't see the whole picture when they work part time and i am probably expecting her to function up to the level of a full timer. Part lack of a corporate fit and part lack of experience from working part time. Thanks all for your advice, we learn something new each day.

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Postby ksl » Tue, 03 Apr 2012 12:23 am

macaroonie wrote:MadScientist your advice is great! I think some jobs just can't be done part time. People can't see the whole picture when they work part time and i am probably expecting her to function up to the level of a full timer. Part lack of a corporate fit and part lack of experience from working part time. Thanks all for your advice, we learn something new each day.


I agree with MadScientist on many points. You need to be more clear and detailed with your job description, and in charge after all you are the employer even if it's a part time worker, she must meet your expectations. Though what are your expectations, when she has no crystal ball.

You make the rules and you enforce them, getting the full picture without a full briefing of what is required, is your responsibility. Last minute changes are no good for any business, unless they have alternative plans in place.

I sympathise with your frustrations, but never sack anyone until you have already replaced them, as this could also be a burden to your business plan for future events and changes when employing people just in case things don't work out. A simple list of threats to your business from all directions outside and inside of the structure will enlighten you to be prepared with alternative solutions.

Always ask yourself "What If this happens" and have a solution, it's part of the responsibility of business planning to think ahead, as the employees you know in this instance maybe better than the next employee you get.

So maybe it is better to see if you can rectify the faults with her before getting rid and in the meantime have someone lined up if she doesn't improve. Remember she is not a mind reader, she needs the full picture once you give her the picture and she fails to adapt, then you can bring in a replacement. Don't be afraid of laying your concerns and expectations on the table.


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