• Helen Manson

Are you avoiding managing poor performance?

Is managing poor performance one of the less desirable aspects of your role? It doesn’t have to be.

Managing poor performance should be tackled quickly and be relatively pain free, both for the manager and the employee.


Performance management should be something that’s done incrementally at the first sign of a problem;

All communication should be carried out face to face, where possible; and

Meetings should be well structured, calm and non-confrontational.

When meeting with an employee who is under-performing, follow these 3 steps:

1. Identify why the employee is under-performing Ask the employee how they feel about the current situation – do they believe they are under-performing? Are they able to provide a reason for their performance? Are they aware of the consequences of their current performance?

2. Provide examples of their recent performance that have caused you concern Illustrate the impact their performance has had on the rest of the team. Explain the long term issues that will occur if their performance doesn’t improve.

3. Identify clear objectives in order to improve -

get the employee’s opinion on the assessment of their performance;

Ask them to propose a solution;

Ask the employee to contribute to the objectives they will be expected to meet.

If there’s one thing you need to remember about managing poor performers, it’s that inappropriate behaviour needs to be addressed as soon as it appears.

Achieve this and you’ll find performance management will become less of a burden and more of an opportunity to coach and develop your team.

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