Managing poor employee performance. Like many processes, the more you do it the better you get but let’s be honest: who wants to work in a place where you get a lot of practice?
Reduced productivity, dissatisfied customers, low team morale, high employee turnover…all indicators that something’s not right in your business. While your systems and processes may have their part to play in the downturn, it’s more likely it’s a person (or people) at the root of your problem.
There’s no single best way of managing underperformance but there’s certainly plenty of ways to do it poorly and number one on the list of poor practices is to ignore it.
Addressing all instances of underperformance before they escalate is a sound way of reducing the number of issues that end up in a formal performance process. Set your standards and expectations of performance early (during the recruitment phase is ideal), reinforce these in your workplace documents and policies, hold regular discussions with each member of your team, communicate standards regularly and ensure your employees know who they can speak with if they have any questions or concerns about their work.
If it gets to the stage where a formal process is necessary, a little forward planning often takes much of the angst out of holding discussions around underperformance. The key is to take the emotion out of the equation, stick to the facts and provide an opportunity for improvement. Have a script for the discussion so you (and the employee) stay on track, be able to define objectively the instances of the underperformance and highlight the impact the performance or behaviour has had on the business. Provide the employee the opportunity to respond, agree on a plan to address the underperformance and move forward.
Your script might include something like:
Managing poor employee performance is more effective if you:
There’s no shortage of information on managing poor employee performance; why not start at the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website:
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