Managing underperformance

Jennifer Ritchie . Friday, March 18, 2016
Managing underperformance Having worked in HR for many years, I have found one of the most difficult tasks for supervisors or managers of people is managing performance, or more specifically, underperformance.

It is not easy to have a difficult conversation with one of your people, but ultimately the longer you leave the issue unmanaged, the greater the negative impact on your business.   Unfortunately this situation often leads to declining productivity and lower team morale, and ultimately the increased likelihood of having claims made against you.  A healthy organisational culture creates the environment that enables robust conversations to be conducted about performance.  

Recently, some commentators are suggesting the annual performance appraisal process is a thing of the past, and the future will see more organisations moving to a less formalised system that focuses on performance development.   In fact some research suggests that the formal performance appraisal is actually harmful (Baker, 2015).  

I believe the less formal, but more regular conversations about performance would be beneficial for small businesses, particularly if done effectively and as part of a holistic performance management approach.  

Through consistent and constructive conversations, employees receive regular feedback about performance and the areas where change is needed.  This can also lead to gains in productivity through improving performance and building competency, as well as supporting the development of employees.

Adopting a coaching approach to feedback will allow you to open up the two way flow of communication between you and your employee, which is the foundation for maintaining positive relationships at work, which in turn helps motivate employees to perform well.

If you wish to find out more about managing performance or coaching, please contact us.

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