Managing poor performance

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Conducting regular appraisals and identifying objectives to your colleagues are key to preventing poor performance in the workplace.

Key steps to improving performance involve finding the cause of the performance levels and setting clear targets for employees to achieve.

When it becomes apparent that an employee is not performing to the standard required, is it vital to act on this as quickly as possible and establish the root cause for the poor performance.

This could be related too:

  • Lack of application to the role and tasks
  • Lack of capability due to skill set or illness

Each of the above factors requires different remedial actions thus emphasising the importance of correctly identifying the cause of underperforming.

However, when the performance management process breaks down, what steps should you take? The key is to identify the root cause then – only then will you be able to decide what steps are required to improve the performance.

In order to identify the cause of poor performance, performance measures have to be carried out in advance and the employee is to be informed and understand what is required of them. 

Identify the issue

In order to identify the cause of poor performance, performance measures have to be carried out in advance and the employee is to be informed and understand what is required of them.

The range of measurements that can be used include:

  • Detailed job description to set out the outcomes of the role
  • Pre-set targets which are realistic and achievable, enabling the employer to determine whether the employee is achieving the standard expected of them. 
  • Quality controlsmay be useful where the provision of a quality service is essential
  • Competency frameworks focus on the key behaviours that are required to achieve competent performance

Correcting poor performance

Clear targets can be set to your colleagues in order to correct the poor performance.

Further examples

Hold an informal meeting with the employee where you are able to outline the areas where their performance is in decline and agree targets with an expected time achievement.

Review the performance at an agreed date and determine the progress. If there has been a significant improvement then no further action should be necessary. If there has been some improvement, then the employer can identify focus areas which need improving and set a further review date.

In the case that there has been no significant improvement, the appropriate penalty will vary with the relevant disciplinary procedure but its strongly recommended that dismissal for a first occurrence is inappropriate. To ensure fairness of dismissal in these circumstances the employer must demonstrate that they were given sufficient opportunity to improve.

For more career advice information, please contact:

Jason Grundy, Country Manager (Middle East)
jason.grundy@robertwalters.com
+971 4 8180 102

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