Editor's message: Effective management of employee performance is key if your organisation is to function at the necessary level and remain competitive.
Day-to-day responsibility for ensuring that employees are performing to the required standard usually lies with line managers, and having managers who are confident and competent at managing capability issues is one of the key factors in deterring underperformance. The aim for all HR departments should, therefore, be to ensure that their organisation's line managers are identifying capability issues early, generally through an ongoing informal performance management process, and removing any barriers to effective performance, such as a lack of training.
There will, however, be occasions where, despite support and guidance, employees fail to reach and sustain the required standard of performance, making it necessary for a formal performance management process to be followed. It will be key to make the employee aware of the required standard and how he or she is failing to achieve it, to give the employee adequate time and support to achieve the necessary standard, and to make clear the possible consequences of a failure to do so. While no employer wants to have to dismiss on the grounds of capability, following these guidelines will keep the risk of a successful tribunal claim to a minimum.
Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
Darren Newman discusses some common challenges when managing poor performance including: providing negative feedback constructively; identifying and acting on barriers to success; and progressing through a process when feedback does not work.
A line manager briefing looking at managing poor performance, including delivering effective feedback, identifying and acting on barriers to success, holding performance-related discussions and dealing with potential outcomes. The briefing also guides line managers through practical scenarios with sample conversations and "Dos and don'ts", as well as providing "Talking points" for training sessions.
A model letter to an employee rescheduling a performance management hearing.
Model letter to an employee rescheduling a performance dismissal hearing.
Model letter to an employee rescheduling a performance dismissal appeal hearing.
Practical guidance on managing an employee who goes on sickness absence while subject to a performance improvement plan (PIP), including dealing with short-term and long-term sickness absence; absence that is related to the performance management procedure; and when it may be appropriate to consider a settlement agreement.
A model letter to confirm to an employee that his or her performance has improved after informal discussions of performance concerns.
A model letter to put in place further improvement measures following a hearing under stage 3 of the performance improvement procedure, where it has been decided that further support should be given or adjustments made.
A model letter to put in place further improvement measures following a performance dismissal hearing, where it has been decided that further support should be given or adjustments made.
A model letter following a formal performance management hearing to inform an employee that he or she has completed an improvement programme and that no further action is required.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to capability.