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You can withhold salary increases for poor performers if you answer yes to these four questions...

by , 01 June 2014
There's always at least one poor performer in every company. And since it's the middle of the year, he may expecting an increase. But does your company refuse to pay increases to staff that score badly in performance reviews? Or, do you only pay a portion and hope he improves?

Keep reading to answer four critical questions before you deny a poor performer an increase... 

The First Performance Review Software Available in South Africa
- In accordance with the 2014 Labour Law -
The performance review software helps you determine quickly and accurately:
- your employees' skill levels;
- how every employee contributes to overall business performance;
- the training and skill enhancing requirements for every one of your employees;
- how to properly motivate your employees;
- the required disciplinary measures.
Four critical questions you must answer YES to before denying an employee an increase
Question 1: Was he aware of the performance standards he had to meet?
Were these clearly defined? Discuss and explain what each requirement means, record them and get him to sign the document.
Question 2: Do you have proof he didn't meet the standards? 
Keep a file of all talks and emails between the two of you about his performance. Tell him where he's lacking and how he can improve. 
Keep reading to find out the other two questions you need to answer... 
Are 20% of your employees causing 80% of your headaches?
Here's how you can get rid of that poor performer without landing at the CCMA!

Question 3: Did you give him a chance to improve?
Decide where he can improve and what he can realistically achieve within a certain time frame. Set the deadlines and give him the opportunity to improve.
Question 4: Was his performance so bad he didn't deserve an increase?
Evaluate how bad his performance really was.
Let's look at John. He's worked in your restaurant for a year. And for the first nine months his work was great, but it started slipping in the last three months. Rather consider a smaller increase than nothing at all. This'll depend on his job and the effect his decline has on your business.
But if you look at a book-keeper losing you money, a packer causing breakage or an employee endangering the safety of others, these would be much more serious offences. An employee doesn't have to cause actual harm; it can also be the damage his incompetence can cause. Basically, the worse the effect, the more justified you are in withholding an increase.
However, if you have a sectoral determination, bargaining council or collective agreement in place that says a minimum increase must be given to everyone, you must still pay bad performers regardless.
If you withhold an increase from an employee ensure you haven't done it for discriminatory reasons, and you can prove the fairness of your decision.

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