Underperforming and disengaged employees can sap the life from any business. So what can an employer do about it?

Justine’s tips

  1. Be honest and recognise that there is a problem with an employee’s performance and don’t hide from the confrontation of dealing with the matter promptly.
  2. Identify the issues: make a list and have examples that you can discuss of the under performance.
  3. Speak informally with the employee and identify the issues early to highlight any underlying medical issues that can elongate or frustrate the process. Offer support to encourage improvement but set out clearly what is expected and by when. Make the employee aware that a failure to improve will result in the formal process being invoked if necessary.
  4. Act within the timescales you set out and keep notes. And don’t let time slide.
  5. A structured supportive process will result in the employee either improving and raising their game or will provide you with the platform to progress to a formal process which will support a fair dismissal.
  6. At any stage in the process you have the option to consider a commercial settlement – but approach this with caution and make sure you do things correctly. Take advice: done correctly it can save time and cost to the business.

Justine Watkinson is a Partner at Hillyer McKeown

Email Justine at [email protected] for information on her ‘Managing Capability in the Workplace’ workshops. Cost £150

This article has been published in the latest issue of HM Magazine, available here