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What exactly is poor performance and what can you do about it?

by , 11 February 2014
The words 'poor performance' are often used in the workplace, but do you know what they mean in terms of labour law? Read on to find out so you can deal with poor performance effectively.

According to the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service, poor performance is a form of incapacity that means an employee is incapable of performing his job functions to the required standard because of various factors.

These could include a lack of, or inadequate, training, skills, equipment, understanding of the job requirements or supervision.

Many employers make the mistake of confusing poor performance with misconduct. Don't do this.

You deal with misconduct through a disciplinary process. This means you have to issue warnings to correct your employee's behaviour and only use dismissal as a last resort.

With poor performance things are a little different.

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Here's how you can get rid of that poor performer without landing at the CCMA!

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Labour law requires you do the following regarding poor performance

You mustn't discipline a poor performer.

Rather, follow a performance management process to help your employee to improve his performance.

In terms of labour law, you can use poor performance as a ground for dismissal.

In fact the Loose Leaf Service says 'you can terminate employment for poor performance which is a form of incapacity as opposed to incapacity due to ill health or injury.'

Important: You must follow the correct procedure when you dismiss a poor performer.

You don't want a situation where you have to pay thousands in compensation simply because you didn't follow the correct procedure when dismissing.

Here's a useful tip regarding managing poor performance:

Have a job profile that outlines the performance criteria, deliverables and objectives of the job.

It'll give your employee a clear understanding of the basic requirements of his job and what you require of him.

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