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What Happens If It Doesn't Work Out

Conducting Difficult Conversations and Discipline

We know that employees will experience legitimate disagreements, conflicts, and performance concerns in our workplace. When these happen, we are committed to open discussions done in a respectful and productive manner to support the success of PSU and our staff, faculty, and administrators. We are guided in these interactions by employee performance evaluation standards, the University Professional Standards of Conduct, Collective Bargaining Agreements, and specific guidelines and expectations established by each department. The Communication & Problem-Solving for Employees page can direct you to many other available resources.

Whether a student employee is demonstrating workplace conflict or performance challenges, supervisors will find that the HR Employee Relations team encourages direct communication between a student employee and the student’s supervisor as the first step to solving the concerns. We believe this is likely to enhance understanding and create the best opportunity for resolution. 

Such discussions may involve the clarification of policies and procedures, delivery of performance feedback, restating or modifying goals, need for additional training, establishing a corrective action plan, etc.

If a supervisor would like guidance or coaching to prepare for a conversation, HR staff members are available to provide assistance. To schedule an appointment or speak with an Employee Relations representative, please call 503.725.4926, and you will be connected to an appropriate HR staff member.

Separation of Employment

In certain circumstances, it may be necessary to separate employment with a student employee.  This action should be handled in a manner that maintains a professional climate for the student employee and the co-workers in the department. This is an opportunity for the supervisor to speak plainly and sensitively to foster a learning experience for the student employee.  Supervisors must discuss this planned action with an immediate manager and with an HR Employee Relations representative before taking any steps to end a student employee’s employment.

There are logistics requirements when separating with a student employee. Human Resources provides an exit checklist to guide supervisors through this process: www.pdx.edu/hr/separating-employees. The Supervisory and Employee Exit Checklist will prompt supervisors through the steps to coordinate the return of university property and funds. These steps include collecting keys, equipment, ID, access cards; discontinuing systems access; removing web site references; and verifying that all reimbursement funds due to the employee have been issued. Forward the completed Supervisory and Employee Exit Checklist to Human Resources for retention in the student employee’s official personnel file.