Performance Management?

Question:

I have an employee who is not performing well enough. What can I do about this?

Answer:

Performance Management can be one of the most difficult skills for any employer or manager to pick up. Many employers find it difficult to find fault with their work mates, and will often put up with under-achieving employees simply to avoid a confrontation. However, it is possible to over-compensate, and there are some who find it a little too easy to criticise the performance of their workforce.

How can a balance be struck so that employers are fair to their employees but also get a good performance from their workforce?

You should try to make sure that employees:

• know what is expected of them – in terms of behaviours and objectives;
• are given training and support to enable them achieve their targets; and
• are assessed on a regular basis in an objective and fair way.

To achieve this need not involve a detailed, formal procedure. Many employers do this every single working day without even thinking about it.

If an employee is under-performing you should:

  • identify the problems in meeting a target or describe the behaviour concerning you;
  • pick a time and place in order to have a confidential meeting without distractions;
  • discuss the problem – be frank but kind;
  • explore any reasons behind the problem – remember there may be personal issues such as a disability or during pregnancy which you may need to take account of;
  • involve the employee in finding a solution; and
  • discuss what happens next.

If, however, an employee persistently fails to perform to the required standard, and you have undertaken the steps to support them achieve what is required, it can be a fair reason to dismiss them.

If confronting poor performance is hard for you – or even if it is not – check out our latest training courses which will help you to develop the skills and confidence in managing your people.