Managing Poor Performance

The key to good Performance Management

There are occasions when staff do not perform to the best of their ability and, let’s face it, we all have off days! However, where an employee’s performance starts to have a detrimental impact on the business or other staff, action needs to be taken.

There may be a myriad of reasons why an employee’s performance drops; family, health issues, lack of training, miscommunication, poor management, and a lack of clear instructions may all be contributing factors.

Be careful not to mix up Poor Performance and Misconduct, although you may be unlucky enough to have an employee exhibiting both.


Your goal as a business owner or manager is to establish the reasons for poor performance and put a plan in place to ensure any contributing factors are addressed.

There is a process to follow to ensure the employee is given an opportunity and support to improve. And, conversely, that you have enough evidence to justify taking further action if they don’t.


Provide your employee with a Performance Improvement Plan or Performance Improvement Process, which:

  • outlines the identified issues

  • clearly explains the expected standards and outcomes expected

  • is tied to a specific timeframe.


Within that plan, ensure there are realistic expectations of what support or training will be provided, and how the employee will be monitored.  (As in realistic for you to implement, not just realistic for the employee to achieve!)


Provide support to the employee’s Manager.  If said Manager has not been through the process before, an effective Performance Improvement Plan may require as much expert input and support for the Manager as the employee will be getting.

This is to ensure they don’t accidentally create grounds for a personal grievance.


Where an employee does not meet the standards laid down in the Performance Improvement Plan, despite the employer providing appropriate support, the employer may take disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

Performance Management can be very time intensive, possibly not an area where you need to focus your energies while trying to maintain and grow your business!

Let us help you manage an effective performance improvement process that meets all the criteria of employment law.

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