Managing the poor performer

October 5, 2018

This is where most business owners fall down and usually with the logical thinking of “he/she can’t do the job, it’s my company, I pay them and I decide who works here”. Although this is understandable, if an employee is failing to perform adequately in their job role there may be a genuine reason why (especially if he/she has worked for you for a while).

So, what to do?

If issues occur with an employee’s performance, they should be addressed immediately. It is important that concerns regarding performance are raised and tackled promptly. Evidence of under-performance must be available to be presented to the employee.

Once poor performance has been identified, the following process is recommended:

  • Meet with the employee on a one to one capacity to discuss the performance concerns
  • Clearly identify and discuss the areas of under-performance
  • Enquire about any underlying reasons for poor performance and address these where possible
  • Consider whether further training and guidance is necessary and then arrange for it to be provided promptly
  • Agree what measurable improvements are required and set performance improvement targets and deadlines for their achievement
  • Agree an appropriate time frame for further review – normally the employee should be given at least one month to improve but this depends on the employee’s job. If they are given one month to meet the required standards an interim review is recommended. (In sales roles it may take longer to achieve target depending on sales process/lead conversion rate, this must be considered)
  • Document the agreed plan using a Performance Improvement Plan
  • Closely monitor the employee through the review period – hold regular 1:2:1’s to do this – for instance once a week
  • Hold a follow up review meeting to assess whether the employee has achieved the performance improvement targets.

If it is identified through the performance improvement plan that an employee has failed to meet the requirements, despite being provided with the correct tools for the job, adequate time, support and training then it may become necessary to invoke the Disciplinary/Capability Procedure.

Yes! We also understand the business owner’s reaction of “I Have to do what! I have to spend a month monitoring someone and taking up valuable resource!” BUT without following proper process and using the Alan Sugar “You’re Fired” approach can lead to a world of pain in the real world. If you have any doubts about the correct way to manage poor performance, then do not hesitate to contact Honest Employment Law Practice (HELP) on 01543 431050 – we handle these situations on behalf of our clients every day so please let us HELP you.


This post is in: Employee Relations Blogs, Employment Law Blogs, Featured

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