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You've discussed your employee's poor performance with him. Now what?

by , 06 March 2015
You've been observing your employee's performance for a while now. And you can see he's performing poorly.

So you meet with him to let him know there's a problem. You tell him the situation is serious enough to warrant your attention. And you need his full co-operation efforts to fix it. Or he may face dismissal.

Now that you've discussed the problem with him, what's next?

Read on to find out so you can effectively manage your employee's poor performance.

After you make your employee aware of his poor performance, do the following…

Put together an action plan.
Experts behind the Labour Law for Managers Loose Leaf Service say you should draw up an action plan as soon as you've observed poor performance and discussed the issues with your employee.
It's best to act early instead of avoiding the problem.
If you address the problem as soon as you notice it, it may still be manageable. And it's likely you'll conduct your performance management process in a friendlier and more accommodating atmosphere.
Now that you know you must have an action plan, find out what to include in it…

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Do you have a paper-shuffler working for you?
You know that person…
  • Always busy but never meets deadlines…
  • Always making excuses for why he doesn't meet company targets…
  • He doesn't meet his KPI's…
  • And he's constantly making costly mistakes…

The next logical step is to get rid of him and get someone who can do the job. But watch out, that could cost you BIG at the CCMA!
So what can you LEGALLY do?

Here are five things the action plan you draw up to manage your employee's poor performance must contain

Your action plan must:
1. Include a description of the problem, for example, 'the employee is unable to meet sales targets'.
2. Spell out the causes of the problem, for example, lack of training.
3. Lay down the practical steps to address the causes (you and your employee have to brainstorm possible solutions), for example, more training.
4. Have a time frame for solving the problem. This is at your discretion and should answer the question: 'How long will it take someone in the employee's position with the same problem and levels of skill, experience and knowledge, to remedy the problem?' It all depends on the situation and what the job entails.
5. Have review dates, i.e. dates when you'll discuss your employees' progress and problem areas. (It's up to you how often you want to meet up with your employee, but meeting once every two weeks is advisable.)
Just remember not to cancel a review meeting if your employee's performance improves. Use the meeting to motivate him and acknowledge his efforts. If, on the other hand, there's no improvement in performance, hold a hearing.
Drawing up an action plan after observing your employee's poor performance and discussing the problem with him will help you deal with the problem effectively.
PS: For everything you need to know to correctly manage a poor performer and dismiss them if you have to, get your hands on The 'No Excuses!' Guide to Performance Management.
You'll get vital information like…
  • An A-Z checklist for managing poor performance;
  • A 5-step problem-solving approach to manage poor performance;
  • A checklist for the manager who's dealing with a poor performer;
  • The difference between poor performance and misconduct;
  • 10 Steps you must follow before you dismiss an employee for poor performance;
  • How to set performance standards;
  • How to evaluate your employee against your standards;
  • The dos and don'ts of the poor performance process;
  • 10 Motivators to make your poor performer a great one;
  • And so much more!

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