Separating illness from performance (Toughest HR question)

Independent medical evaluations can help HR determine if performance is being affected by an illness that needs accommodation
By Sandra Chiodo
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 01/17/2011

Question: One of our managers has approached the HR department for help with serious performance issues that may relate to an illness. “I have serious concerns regarding her performance. I’ve done everything I can to help her. I think something is wrong, she is not herself,” he said. How can we determine if it’s truly a performance issue or if there is an underlying illness?

Answer: The key to dealing with this issue is to separate illness from performance. You can use a few clues to help you with this:

Clue one: Is this an employee who has been functioning well since she started with the organization? If so, unless something has changed in the job, the issue is likely illness-related.