There is something very depressing about realising that one of your hires isn’t working out as you’d imagined they would.
When you first took this person on you, were excited about the skills and dynamism that they might bring to your team. You were looking forward to getting new projects off the ground and to hearing their ideas and input for your business.
Right now you are dealing with the sad admission that you possibly made a mistake in hiring them, or that they pulled the wool over your eyes during the interview.
Whilst it is tempting to rely on the fact that they are in probation, or have less than 2 years’ service, and simply dismiss them it can still be a risky approach. Before you start thinking about terminating their contract, there are steps that you can take that could support this poor performer and help them to realise the potential that you saw in them before they settled in at their desk.
Maybe we need to explore why the individual isn’t performing and support them to turn the performance around, so they become a good performer.
Let’s face it, we all might have had a time in our lives when things don’t go according to plan. Someone’s performance could be below par for any number of reasons – poor health, non-attendance, having caring responsibilities, not understanding their job role, struggling to fit in to their new workplace, juggling family life and the commute, adapting to change, lack of ability or having a problem with a work colleague could all be responsible.
It’s well worth having a conversation with the individual to identify if there is something outside or inside the business that is affecting their contribution.
And, if you ever end up in a tribunal situation for dismissing someone for poor performance, a tribunal judge would always look to see if you have made reasonable attempts and efforts to help an individual to turn their performance around, and given them sufficient support and time to do so.
Here are our step by step recommendations:
When you start to sense that there’s a problem:
Finally, if you feel you have exhausted informal initiatives, you can move to a more formal Capability/Performance Improvement process, which is very similar to the disciplinary process where you would have three stages:
At each stage you will need to ensure that:
Here at Metro HR we believe that ongoing performance review and proactive management along with constructive real-time feedback can help employees to know what your business is trying to achieve. It also makes clear how the skills and abilities they have are helping your business to achieve its objectives, how they and the business are doing and, when there are performance problems, what to do about them.
It’s critical that everyone in your team succeeds in their work – individual achievement as well as that of the team is crucial to the success of the business. As Richard Branson says: “Embedding purpose into your business will help it stand out, and align it with customers who have the same values”.
Having a solid foundation of HR processes and procedures is the cornerstone of a happy, functioning and productive team.
Wondering if what you have in place is doing the job?
Why not download our Fantastic HR Checklist and work through the framework that we recommend to develop an effective and FANTASTIC HR function in your business.
And, for more information about managing performance, ACAS has a very useful advisory booklet on the subject, which you can find here.