No-one really likes to have formal, recorded meetings about an employee’s conduct or capability, but sometimes these are essential. And if we do not follow the correct approach to these meetings then we can leave our organisation open to a claim for unfair dismissal or additional compensation.

The formal route should always be the last resort, ideally with feedback and coaching conversations having been undertaken and logged. The majority of activity will be the informal conversations, and the formal activity should take less time once instigated. Think of an iceberg. The larger area below the surface is the proportion of background work and attention on the issue compared to the HR meeting, which is the smaller peak above the surface. Before you call an HR meeting for a disciplinary hearing you must be absolutely sure that your evidence is correct. Use data, reliable (and preferably multiple) witnesses, emails etc.