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Revealed: Your complete A to Z checklist for managing poor performance

by , 23 January 2014
Managing poor performance is tricky, especially if you're not sure where to start. Use this poor performance checklist to get through every step of managing poor performance.

You mustn't tolerate poor performance as it ultimately affects your bottom line.

So how do you go about managing a poor performer?

The Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service has made things easier for you. It has outlined a complete checklist you can use to manage poor performance in your workplace.

Use this checklist to manage poor performance in your workplace

A: Put performance standards in place, preferably in writing.

B: Inform your employee of the standards required. Make sure there aren't any uncertainties about the required standards.

C: Provide the necessary training, tools and support to employees.

D: Monitor your employee's compliance with company standards. Do this regularly, and not only at the formal performance review meetings.

E: If you identify sub-standard performance, get the necessary proof.

F: Arrange an interview (first meeting) with your employee as soon as possible, informing her that the purpose is to discuss performance. Don't wait to address performance at formal performance reviews only.

G: Be mindful of previous positive performance appraisals received by your employee.

H: Inform your employee of your dissatisfaction with her performance.

I: Establish if your employee's aware of the performance standard. If she's unaware, spell out the standards and indicate that you'll monitor performance accordingly in future.

J: If your employee's aware of the standard, enquire into reasons for poor performance.

K: Consider your employee's reasons (the causes for poor performance). If they're satisfactory, end the session. If not, or if indications are that further action is required, stress the need for standards to be maintained.

L: Brainstorm and thereafter discuss with your employee possible ways of addressing the problem, for example, through training, assistance or transfer.

M: If you reach an agreement with agreement is reached on an action plan, secure the employee's commitment to it and put it in writing.

N: If the employee doesn't want to commit to the plan, enquire into the reasons why. If the reasons are unsatisfactory implement the plan unilaterally. Explain this to your employee.

O: Be clear on the standards required as well as time allowed for performance to improve.

P: In both cases (i.e. where your employee agrees to, or doesn't agree to the action plan) inform your employee that she'll be monitored and that failure to comply with performance standards could lead to dismissal.

Q: Provide the required support.

R: Thereafter monitor progress.

S: Review progress on dates provided for in the action plan. If the problem doesn't improve, warn your employee that dismissal may follow should performance not improve

T: If the problem improves, encourage your employee to continue improving, but also indicate that the process will continue if a relapse occurs.

U: If progress is unsatisfactory after expiry of the time frame agreed, issue an ultimatum allowing a final chance for improvement and warning that failure may result in dismissal.

V: If progress is still unsatisfactory after the final period allowed for improvement, arrange for a formal incapacity (poor performance) hearing.

W: Remember that your employee has the right to be represented at this hearing.

X: If you dismiss your employee, inform her of the right to refer any dispute about termination to CCMA.

Y: Attend to administrative issues, for example, UIF and certificate of service.

Z: Always keep accurate records of interviews, action plans and feedback.

Well there you have it. Using this checklist will help ensure you manage poor performance in a legal and effective manner.

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