SMBA HR Circle on Performance Management
The SMBA HR Circle, established in 2016 and held quarterly fosters the exchange between the Human Resource Practitioners of Swiss Companies active in Malaysia on all Human Resources related matters.
On Wednesday 14 March, SMBA held its first HR Circle in 2018. The event was kindly hosted by Huber+Suhner. The meeting began with a lively 40-minute networking and lunch session where members were given the opportunity to build connections. Mr Gerhard Wenger, Regional Director of Huber+Suhner gave a warm welcoming address and a short background to Huber+Suhner and its products. Mr Wenger also shared the challenges he faced in Malaysia with regards to Human Resources, and stressed the importance of these sessions to share ideas and learn from professionals in the field.
Intellect Thinking Leadership
Mr VS Ravi Elangkoh, a dynamic, professional leadership coach, was the first speaker and led the discussion on effective leadership. His key message was on the importance of thinking rationally, critically and objectively as a leader and manager. He challenged our thought process and urged members to shift their way of thinking in this new age of automation. The workplace as we know it has transformed dramatically, and it is fundamental to adopt a more critical way of thinking.
Mr Elangkoh stressed the importance of CEOs taking an active role in the development of Human Capital in order to survive the Industrial Revolution 4.0. To thrive, companies need to see the world a new.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
– Albert Einstein
Managing Poor Performance
The second speaker, Ms Rajeswari Karupiah, is an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya, and Managing Partner of Rajeswari Karupiah & Co, a legal firm specializing in Employment & Industrial Law in Kuala Lumpur. She has over 20 years of experience in legal practice, both in Malaysia and abroad.
Ms Karupiah highlighted the Malaysian natural ability in people skills and adopting a softer approach in business relationships. However, as a result, this often led to a lack of confrontation and effective communication.
Poor performance is always a difficult subject to broach, and the law as it stands, is very protective of employees. Whether an individual fits into an organisation is often a subjective decision. If proper steps are not followed, and short of any misconduct by the employee, cases of unfair dismissal could be taken to third party arbitrators, such as Mediators or the Industrial Court. At such time, the courts will wear an objective hat. A decision that is very subjective will become objectively tested, objectively queried, and objectively discussed.
“A decision that is very subjective will become objectively tested, objectively queried, and objectively discussed.”
– Ms Rajeswari Karupiah
The burden of proof lies with the employer to justify termination by determining poor performance. The law provides security of tenure of employment to employees allowing an employee to know why they were terminated, and subjects the employer to provide convincing evidence of any alleged offences.
Ms Karupiah advised all companies to have procedures in place in anticipation for such events. Many global companies will use the Performance Improvement Plans, with written record showing discussion of poor performance with the employee, providing time to allow improvement of performance, and a method of systematically appraising the said individual. This is to be driven by the line manager, in collaboration with Human Resources.
The fundamental principle is to ensure effective communication, written records, and the implementation of a fair procedure.
The session raised much discussion amongst members, exchanging personal experiences and sharing knowledge. Ms Karupiah provided practical examples and solutions of how to take an employee to dismissal without legal repercussion.
The HR Circle meeting was a huge success for networking and knowledge building and sharing. The added value of the meeting is undeniable. If your company is not part of the HR circle yet please contact email@example.com.