However, as this developed Prospect became very concerned by reports from members that these calls were involving OMs, SOMs, GMs and others and included detailed discussions about named individuals. We wrote to Openreach with our concerns about PAT calls.
Prospect then had a useful meeting with Openreach to discuss the PAT call process. Openreach have subsequently revised the role of PAT calls and provided additional guidance to line managers which has been cascaded via team meetings.
Previously in some patches, OMs have been involved in weekly, or less frequent, calls/meetings. The new guidance is clear that the attendees for PAT calls should be the GM for the patch, SOMs for the patch, HRBP to provide guidance on BT's policies and procedures adhering to the principles outlined below. It is clear that OMs should not take part in these calls.
The key points that members may be interested in are:
A PAT call should:
• Discuss the overall performance of the business unit (using relevant business metrics).
• Review trends at GM, SOM, OM level.
• Identify what has contributed to high performance, increased productivity
• Reach agreement on high performers, key contributors and appropriate reward/recognition.
• Share learning from high performance areas.
• Identify what has contributed to underperformance/downward trend and steps to address areas of underperformance.
• Review whether under performance is being managed appropriately in line with BT policy and processes.
A PAT call should not:
• Discuss individual cases in detail because GMs/SOMs may be involved in subsequent appeal hearings, grievances and would therefore lose their impartiality.
• Be used as a channel for in depth case discussions where specific actions on individual cases are agreed. It is expected that OM's will manage their cases as normal seeking specific support & guidance from the HR Case Management Centre and HRBP.
Prospect believes that any discussions between SOMs and OMs on performance management should also be in line with the above points to ensure the impartiality of the SOM in any potential appeal processes. However, following a PAT call SOMs may feed back relevant action plans to OMs in line with the above points.
Prospect welcomes the changes and the positive discussions that we have had with Openreach in order to address the concerns of our members involved in this process.
If you remain concerned about the operation of PAT calls in your area you should raise this with your line manager in the first instance referring to this guidance. If this does not resolve the situation contact Prospect for further advice