One of the most stressful parts about managing a team is managing poor performance. Fortunately, the majority of people go to work in order to do a good job, so the instances of poor performance can be quite frustrating and can affect the whole team.
If an individual starts to perform poorly, their lack of enthusiasm for the company can start to affect the whole business, and their productivity drops. Customers may also be affected by poor performance, if the individual concerned is connected to customer service or delivery etc. It is really important, therefore, that poor performance is dealt with quickly, as the rest of the individuals team can become disenchanted with their manager if they feel they are carrying a member who isn’t carrying their weight, and they don’t see their manager doing anything about it.
Can Poor Performance be prevented?
One way to minimise the risk of poor performance is to have a good performance management programme in place within your business. Triple Three Solutions can help you build and implement a programme to ensure that:
- everyone within the business knows exactly what their job roles and descriptions are
- every individual is clear on their objectives
- every individual has a date for each review meeting for their objectives
- everyone is graded on their performance on each objective
- actions are set in the review meetings to assist the individual in their learning and development
This sort of programme will ensure that all employees are completely clear on what is expected of them, and it also gives managers a level of expectation and a management process to adhere too to. This makes it easier for managers to distance themselves from the personal relationship they may have with their team, and tackle poor performance more directly as the expectations are clearly defined.
Reasons for Poor Performance?
There can of course be many reasons why an individual exhibits poor performance, but it is usually down to one of three reasons:
- Lack of required skills and knowledge
- Illness or disability
- Problems outside work
The way in which you tackle the poor performance will obviously change depending on which of these three reasons it is due too, so it is important to get to the bottom of why the poor performance has occurred. Triple Three Solutions can guide you through how to handle each of these very specific employee needs.
How to Handle Poor Performance
When you are dealing with an individual who is exhibiting poor performance, the aim is always to improve their level of performance to the acceptable level (or above). It is important to talk to the underperformer as soon as possible, and find out as much as you can about them and what is causing them to underperform. If the issue is not illness or disability related (as this will need handling differently) and you feel that the issue needs to be tackled in a formal way, then you should follow a four-step plan in order to ensure that the employee cannot claim unfair dismissal if they and the company end up parting ways.
The formal process is quite a lengthy and involved process, which must be handled correctly in order to fulfil employer’s legal obligations. Triple Three Solutions cannot stress enough how important it is to deal with any performance issues fairly and evenly across the business, and all managers should try and resolve any issues with actions that can be measured in realistic timescales.
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