As an employer, you know it’s important to keep an eye on your employees’ performance and undertake effective performance management. You may even know all too well the difficulty of managing an employee who isn’t producing the standards of work you expect from them. Poor performance however, cannot be treated with a simple dismissal. Modern employment law states that you must get to the root cause of the issue – and try and fix it – before making such a decision.
The first step is to ask yourself, or the employee’s line manager, some questions as to the nature of the worker’s role, how they’re being managed or whether there have been any personal changes in the worker’s life that could be impacting on their work. For example, if a previously high achieving employee is under-performing directly after a death in the family, then personal factors are the most likely culprit and their work will likely improve with a little support and understanding.
Even if a new worker is constantly not performing in line with your standards, it’s important to consider whether they’ve received the key skills training and resources they need to perform their task, whether their work goals are unreasonable, or what the standards of communication are between that employee and their managers. There are many reasons why an employee may be under-performing other than simply being the wrong person for the job, which is why business employment law prevents termination as the first response.
It is important, however, that your expectations of your employees and your feedback as to their recent performance are made clear. An informal chat is often enough to ascertain what issues may be preventing an employee from achieving, provide any required help, support and guidance and also put an employee performance management plan in place to assist with improvement in future.
A good performance management plan should be completely documented and include the setting of achievable and measurable objectives and allow an appropriate time frame for improvement before any further action is taken. You may also need to put the worker on training courses or change other working processes if these have been identified as barriers to performance. It’s also important to hold regular performance appraisals and one-to-one meetings to discuss any issues and provide feedback on progress.
If, after the final performance review, there has not been sufficient progress from the employee in question, despite being provided with the required support and development tools, then you may need to invoke a disciplinary or capability procedure.
Managing performance can be tricky and can involve a lot of complex issues. You may need an unlimited pool of patience and understanding and even then, you may find yourself in need of legal help. That’s why HELP is here. We will simplify the process with continuous support and advice thanks to our 24/7 support team. No long contracts to tie you in – just HELP on your terms with a simple and cost-effective monthly retainer.
For more information on the services we offer, contact the Honest Employment Law Practice team today. You can give us a call on 01543 431050 or send us an email using our online form.