Ask the HR Department: I have some underperforming staff. What are the best HR practices for handling poor performance?

By HR and health & safety consultancy Peninsula Canada

Every manager and HR professional has probably already had that tough conversation with an employee about poor performance. Whether it’s about an employee not hitting their targets or about their behaviour, it’s essential to carefully plan out how you’re going to have that conversation. Otherwise, the wrong things may be said or done.

Below are three HR-approved ways to help get an employee back on track and lead them to success.

Identify the problem. When you notice an employee is underperforming, the first step is to sit down with them and have an informal conversation to find out if they have a reason for their underperformance. Some employees feel hesitant to talk to their manager if they are going through a challenging time because they think it might affect their future with the company. Encourage open communication by having an open-door policy.

Create a realistic improvement plan. In some cases, the employee may not know what they need to improve on. Creating a realistic improvement plan includes establishing goals that need to be achieved by a certain date. This will provide a clear roadmap for the employee. Once they have a clear understanding on how to improve, then the employer can have regular check-ins to see the employee’s progress.

Provide resources and training. When talking to the employee, try to think about the current resources and training you offer. Are they sufficient or do they need more? Make sure to ask what they need so you can support them in any way that you can. If they need additional resources and training, take that into consideration.

Offer rewards to recognize achievement. Awards are a great way to recognize great achievement within the workplace. Providing incentives to all employees to meet certain targets or expectations is a great way to encourage great performance.

Peninsula is an HR and Health and Safety consulting firm serving over 80,000 small businesses worldwide, including dealers in home improvement. Clients are supported with ongoing updates to their workplace documentation and policies as legislation changes. Additionally, clients benefit from 24/7 employer HR advice and are protected by legal insurance.