It is good practice for any business to have a clear strategy to deal with underperformance. A consistent approach to performance management provides relatively quick and effective solutions.
It is important for managers to identify and assess the problems as soon as possible. How serious is the problem? How long has the issues existed for? What is the reason for the problem, is it work related or a personal issue? It is also important that when dealing with any performance management issues that the manager keeps a written record of all discussions taken place in case further action is needed.
Once the problem has been identified and assessed the manager needs to arrange a meeting with the employee. It is important that when you meet with the employee it is done in a private location with no distractions or interruptions. The employee should be given plenty of notice so that they can prepare. Should the employee request for someone to attend the meeting with them, this should be allowed.
The meeting should be an open discussion between the manager and employee about the problem/s with their performance, it is an opportunity to discuss the outcomes that they would like to achieve moving forward. In the meeting the manager and employee can put an action plan into place and a time scale. Does the employee need additional training? If so what and when will this be delivered? What other support can be given? Does the employee understand what is expected of them? Do they agree?
A review date should then be set to discuss the employees progress against the agreed plan, this gives opportunity to discuss issues that may have arisen, provide feedback and encouragement, and ultimately to make sure that the employee is on track with achieving the objectives set.