Managing Employee Performance

Management of employees is an important aspect of running a business.     

Employees that are motivated are more likely to deliver higher levels of performance, work more productively and have less sick leave from work. Rewarding and recognising good employee performance is just as important as managing employee performance.

There may be times when an employee’s performance is unsatisfactory. It is important that the employer addresses the issue as soon as possible with the employee. There are a number of steps that may assist employers to manage poorly performing employees.

An employee’s poor performance may arise through:

  • breach of the employer’s workplace policies;
  • a failure to perform the duties of the employee’s position or to perform them to the standard required by the employer;
  • disruptive behaviour that affects co-employees; or
  • unacceptable behaviour in the workplace.

It is important to note that poor performance is not the same as misconduct. Misconduct is very serious behaviour such as theft or assault which may justify immediate dismissal. In cases of misconduct employers should seek legal advice about how to proceed prior to taking any action.

An employer should consider following these 5 steps in managing poor employee performance:

  1. Act Without Delay – Deal with the employee’s poor performance without delay;
  2. Private Discussion – Discuss the poor performance with the employee in a private meeting. Clearly tell the employee how their performance falls short of the standard required by the employee.
  3. Allow Employee to Respond – Give the employee an opportunity to respond to the poor performance. The employee may be experiencing personal issues which have adversely affected the employee’s performance.
  4. Resolution – Agree with the employee on a resolution to the poor performance issue. The resolution should be in writing and signed by the employer and employee.

Tim Hayter, Principal, Mid West Lawyers

This information is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought for your particular circumstances.