Poorly performing staff can cost businesses a great deal of money and whether you are a business with 3 or 300 staff, it is important that you address poor performance as soon as you notice it. Poor performance is not just when a member of staff has a blip in their performance levels, this is entirely natural, poor performance is a consistently low standard of work which negatively impacts a business.
We spoke to staffing and management guru Haris Ahmed Chicago based expert in leadership and consultant to many businesses who look to him to help them with staffing issues. He gave us a run down on dealing with poor performance and here are our findings.
If you have a member of staff who is performing poorly then don’t ignore them, don’t give them less tasks to do and don’t single them out for criticism. The first step when dealing with poor performance is to open up a dialogue with the member of staff. It may well be that they have problems at home or in their personal life which is damaging their ability to perform at work. It may also be that they haven’t had the proper training or that they do not have the tools to do their job. Once you have established whether there are any extenuating circumstances you can begin to move forward. If any of the above do apply then your role will be to support them as best as you can to help them do their job better.
If there are no extenuating circumstances then you need to begin managing the individual’s performance. You should do this with weekly meetings that last up to around 6 weeks. It is important that when you start the process, you lay out exactly what is not being done well and what you expect to see, in detail. This way you can easily measure the improvement of the individual over the week.
If you feel as though the individual is not improving each week then you need to begin to take disciplinary action. The member of staff has a contractual agreement to live up to and not performing their job to a high standard negates their end of the contract. Begin with a verbal and then a written warning, if after the fourth week you should give them a final warning and offer them 4 more weeks of performance management. After the additional four weeks, providing you have offered and given all of the required support to help the individual do their job better, you still haven’t seen an improvement then you will need to terminate the individual’s contract. This is not a pleasant thing to have to do but for the good of the business it will be a necessary step to take. The positives that this will bring are that you will have cleared out a member of staff who was unwilling to do their job and sent a message out to the rest of your staff of the perils of consistently poor performance.