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Act early against poor performance or you could sit with a BIG problem

by , 29 April 2015
Poor performance is definitely a problem you have to fix on time. It's also something you can't tolerate excuses on if you want to ensure it doesn't last long. At the end of the day, it's you and your business that suffer if you allow this type of behaviour to continue.

Since most people tend to avoid potential conflict situations, fixing poor performance can be problematic.

So what can you do to put a stop to it at the start?

Address the problem as soon as you notice poor performance and it may still be manageable

When you start the poor performance management process it's likely to be conducted  in a friendlier and more accommodating atmosphere.

That's one of the reasons you should put new employees on probation.

Put newly-hired employees on probation for a reasonable period of time (usually about three to four months). This will give you a chance to address the employee's performance before you confirm his appointment.

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During the probationary period, you must assess the employee's performance and give him reasonable evaluation, instruction, training, guidance and counseling. If you decide his performance is below standard during the probation period, advise him of the areas in which he's failing.

If you still deem his performance inadequate after his probation period has come to an end, you can either extend the probation period (only if there are signs his performance is actually improving, or when you believe his performance might improve) or dismiss the employee.

Pay attention to the fact that you can only dismiss the employee at the end of the probation period if you've given him the chance to respond to your comments about his performance and make representations.


Probation can't be used for the purpose of depriving employees of permanent employment and must be bona fide.

Include probation periods in the contracts of any newly hired employees. This will ensure you have a proper opportunity to assess an employee's performance before you confirm his permanent employment.

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