Employees must be treated as individuals, not commodities

Proper annual appraisal for SBC employees will reduce the atmosphere of bullying and stress.

I agree completely with the un-named letter headed “Incompetent bosses are Rewarded” published in TheSouthern on May 10.

As a former personnel director of a major company, multi-site with more employees than SBC, I ensured that proper systems were in place to flag up poor management practices and intransigent employees. The main tool was an effective annual appraisal system which was not linked to salary but to performance. When all the appraisals were completed by line managers they were vetted by my department and any issues arising with competence, capability and in particular poor management were addressed.

Through my regular Employment Help page in Kelso Life, I am regularly contacted by SBC employees, many highlighting poor management, bullying and stress much as has been reported in your paper. In one case, the SBC employee had not been appraised for more than seven years, which apparently is not an unusual situation for SBC staff.

Without regular proper appraisal, how can managers expect employees to know how they are doing and how can managers understand what constraints management put on their employees, preventing them from completing their tasks properly.

As a member of the Employment Tribunal for more than 30 years, most cases we now hear are from the public sector, and most unfair dismissal cases emanate from poor management. This costs all of us taxpayers a considerable amount of money.

As a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, I am becoming more and more concerned at the modern concept of human resources where people employed by organisations are reduced to commodities, needed when busy, not when quiet. Is this what produces a contented, reliable, loyal workforce? I think not. Treat employees as the individual people they are and not a resource.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who supported me in my council election attempt. Next time, I hope to be successful, when I can really hold SBC to account.

Colin McGrath

Piccaclehill Gardens, Kelso