When an employee is not doing their job properly (or fully) it’s important to act quickly. Managers shouldn’t sit back and hope the problem will fix itself. Raising performance issues with employees can be challenging for both employees and employers. Many try to avoid it. Most performance issues get worse if they’re not dealt with as employees are often unaware they’re not performing well and so are unlikely to change anything. If not dealt with, this is unfair on the employee and their co-workers, and can have a negative effect on the business as a whole because it can affect the productivity and performance of the entire workplace.
Try to reframe the performance issue into an opportunity to grow performance. If managers can tell themselves that they’re working with their employee to assist them to reach their potential, rather than manage their poor performance, then the process will be more positive for all.
The processes are more effective in organisations with clear policies and procedures in place which encourage ongoing feedback and working through performance issues early on. It is important that all employees know the process so there are no surprises later.
In some cases, informal meetings, development and support are not effective in raising an employee’s performance to the required standard. If this happens you will need to consider a more formal approach.
Where ongoing feedback and discussion is encouraged in an open and supportive environment then growing and managing performance becomes a more positive activity.
You may find our sample letters helpful when managing performance issues. There are five letters. Each covers a different circumstance.
- Sample letter - meeting to discuss putting in place a performance improvement plan [DOCX, 26 KB]
- Sample letter - putting in place a performance improvement plan [DOCX, 20 KB]
- Sample letter - written warning for continued performance issues [DOCX, 28 KB]
- Sample letter - termination of employment on notice for poor performance (preliminary decision) [DOCX, 23 KB]
- Sample letter - termination of employment on notice for continued poor performance [DOCX, 20 KB]