Managing poor performance - Checklist of actions when managing poor performance
Most formal procedures acknowledge that you may have already attempted to improve matters, and they allow for an informal 'manager only' stage. Formal procedures will follow a timetable and set out who is involved at what stage. Your organisation will or should have a similar chart.
In all cases where work or performance appears to be sub-standard, as manager, you should undertake all of the following steps, where appropriate:
- Investigate fully the reasons for poor performance
- Discuss with the employee his/her shortcomings and the standard required
- Provide a reasonable time to improve.
- Advise on how improvement can be made and provision of training and supervision where appropriate.
- Warn the employee of the consequences of not improving.
- Monitor the employee's performance during and at the end of the çtrial" period while providing the employee with feedback.
- Where the required standard is still not reached consideration of other options before dismissal e.g. transfer to alternative work, premature retirement either in the interests of the efficiency of the service or on the grounds of ill-health.
- In many cases improvement will not be instant and, depending on the nature of the job and on the effect of sub-standard performance on the department, the informal process should continue for a reasonable period.
- This process is the concern of the manager and the employee and,although guidance and advice may be sought,representation of the employee by a Union representative or fellow employee is not appropriate at this stage.
Continuing problem of poor performance
If the informal process does not succeed in raising work performance to an adequate standard, you should arrange a formal hearing where he/she has the opportunity to be represented by a Trade Union representative or fellow employee. The managers present may be just you, you and a more senior manager or more senior managers without you: this will vary and will depend on the procedures set out by your own agency. At this stage, the agency"s formal procedure is applied and all future management action will be according to this procedure.. The Manager should normally be accompanied by a Personnel Officer. Each party may call çwitnesses" to attend the hearing if they have information which may help an understanding of the position. The purpose of the hearing is to establish as comprehensively as possible:
- The nature of the sub-standard performance and the effect on the department.
- The steps being taken to rectify the situation, their likely duration, and further options including alternative duties.
- Any other circumstances, e.g. personal or health considerations which may affect performance.
- Agreed written targets and objectives, including realistic dates for achievement, against which the employee's performance can be evaluated.