How should I manage Under-Performance?

When an employee is not performing as expected, it can cause a great deal of conflict and many problems within your business. It is not just the employee who is under performing that is the problem, as your entire workforce can very easily take exception and then morale and wider productivity becomes an issue.

So, before your business finds itself in that situation, what are the steps you must take?

Create a Performance Management System

A performance management system can help you identify problems with employees early on, and take steps to remedy them between the manager and employee. This early action will enable you to maintain harmony in your workforce, and stop issues escalating.

Regularly reviewing performance throughout your entire workforce gives you the earliest indicators of any possible under-performance and can create a better atmosphere to deal with these issues quickly and easily.

Solving Under-Performance Issues

If the performance management system does indicate a problem with an employee, your managers must support and coach them to improve their performance. Issues may be outside of the employee’s control, therefore practical actions must be taken to support the employee both in terms of their own work and these outside factors that may be affecting them.

Use an Enhanced Development Plan to support employees. Over a period of two or three months, arrange meetings with employee at least every fortnight to regularly review their progress and performance.

Taking It Further

If the above steps have failed to rectify the under-performance, than your business must then take formal action with the employee.

You must have a disciplinary or capability procedure in place to ensure that the right steps are taken to minimise any risk or miscommunication. Your managers must be well trained in this procedure, which should include the actions taken under the formal action. For instance:

  • Your first action may lead to a first written warning to the employee informing them of the performance problem, the improvement required and the timescale for achieving the improvement, as well as any support your business will provide.
  • The next stage may lead to a final written warning again outlining the problem and the actions that will be taken (ultimately their dismissal) if they do not improve.
  • The third and final stage if under-performance is still a problem will be their dismissal.

Does your business know how to recognise and manage under-performance? If you need support or a review of your procedures, contact me today.

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