Don’t ignore poor performance

Q: One of my employees is just coasting along with poor performance. For some time now she hasn’t been achieving as much as my other staff and doesn’t seem motivated. How do I get more out of her?

A: Poor performance can be really frustrating for employers, but it can be improved with the right approach.

To change someone’s performance they need to first understand the issues and your expectations. Therefore arranging a simple discussion where the issues will be covered is necessary.

Prior to arranging the discussion however, think about what specifically your employee isn’t achieving so that you are prepared to make clear and concise points. You might even want to make a list with examples of each point to refer to if you have a few. Simply stating to your employee that they don’t seem to be motivated without any examples to back it up, probably won’t get you the result you are looking for. Remember, your employee cannot improve unless they understand what exactly needs to improve.

Have the discussion in a quiet, private space and don’t be tempted to dance around the topic. Be brave and tell your employee why you are meeting and explain the specific issues as per the notes you prepared earlier. Ensure the tone of the meeting is supportive, and the agenda is about setting your expectations and implementing a solution for the issues at hand. Also, make sure you listen to the employee’s viewpoints too as there could be something going on that you aren’t aware of that could be contributing to their poor performance.

The meeting should result in you and your employee agreeing to an action plan which sets out the performance standard moving forward. The action plan should be monitored over a period of time, it should be fair and achievable, and ideally it should be agreed to in writing.

If you see an improvement in performance which meets your expectations, the action plan and monitoring can be removed. If the poor performance continues, our recommendation is to seek further advice from Industryus HR about commencing a more formal performance management process.

Did you know Industryus HR offers a membership for employers which enables members access to regular over the telephone HR advice? If you would like more information or to discuss a specific issue, call us on 07 5655 4047 or send us an email via our contact form.

Employers don’t need to put up with poor performance. Talk to a professional today.

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