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Managing Poor Performance by Ascent HR Management Consultants


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An employee is said to have poor performance when he is not able to deliver his actual performance and thus cannot match the level of performance organization requires. Poor performance of employee results in negative outcome of the organization. Thus, it is important to have a proper and systematic check on poor performance management.
An effective method is developed to cope with such poor performance like disease of the company. Management of poor performance helps in either improving the performance or eradicating the under-performing employee in a fair manner, complying with the law of the country.
This Slideshare is a comprehensive document which can help you understand about poor performance and its management with simple illustrations and pictures. Enhance your knowledge and get to know the simple procedures of executing poor performance management in your company for efficient and effective working in your company.

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Managing Poor Performance by Ascent HR Management Consultants

  1. 1. Managing poor performance ASCENT HR – Presentation June 2014 (c) Ascent HR - 1
  2. 2. Why is performance management hard? Requires honesty – Difficult to tell someone face-to-face their performance is poor. Requires clear identification of short falls in performance – Difficult where no clarity on expected standards.  Requires time and commitment – Difficult if looking for a quick fix. (c) Ascent HR - 2
  3. 3. Why is performance management important? Financial risk – Company will not be successful if staffed by underperformers. Litigation risk – Company will not be able to safely dismiss poor performing employees if performance management process not followed. Reputational risk – Company reputation damaged if poor performance leads to poor delivery to customers. (c) Ascent HR - 3
  4. 4. What are the benefits from managing poor performance?  Creating a high performance culture – part of the Company’s Total Performance agenda.  Improved productivity and service.  Ultimately freeing up management time.  Avoiding unfair dismissal claims! (c) Ascent HR - 4
  5. 5. Managing poor performance (c) Ascent HR - 5
  6. 6. Let me introduce you to… Roger, new finance department manager. (c) Ascent HR - 6 Managing poor performance
  7. 7. … and Roger’s team (c) Ascent HR - 7 Managing poor performance
  8. 8. Roger’s first few months  Roger starts his new role in February.  After a few months, Roger starts to have some concerns about the performance of some of his team members.  In particular, he’s concerned about: Ed, accountant; Amy, accounts clerk; and Caroline, Roger’s PA. (c) Ascent HR - 8 Managing poor performance
  9. 9. Diagnosing the problem  Roger meets with Anna in HR – “What am I going to do about these poor performers?”  Anna: “Need to diagnose the problem – why are they performing poorly?”  Poor performance could be due to:  incapability - can’t do;  ill health – illness preventing from doing;  misconduct – won’t do.  Why are Ed, Amy and Caroline not performing? (c) Ascent HR - 9 Managing poor performance
  10. 10. Diagnosing the problem (cont.) Ed: no ill health issues; does the work – but does it poorly; incapability? (c) Ascent HR - 10 Managing poor performance
  11. 11. Managing poor performance – “Classic” poor performance (c) Ascent HR - 11
  12. 12. (c) Ascent HR - 12 “Get rid of him!” “Classic” poor performance
  13. 13. The law: unfair dismissal Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth):  Person has been unfairly dismissed if:  Person has been dismissed.  Dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable.  Dismissal was not a genuine redundancy. (c) Ascent HR - 13 “Classic” poor performance
  14. 14. The law: unfair dismissal (cont.) Factors in deciding whether a dismissal is harsh, unjust or unreasonable:  Was there a valid reason for dismissal (conduct or capacity)?  Was the person notified of that reason and given an opportunity to respond?  Where dismissal is for poor performance, was the person warned about the impact of poor performance prior to dismissal? NOTE: Primary remedy for successful claim is reinstatement! (c) Ascent HR - 14 “Classic” poor performance
  15. 15. Golden rule Employee must know what’s coming down the barrel of the gun! (c) Ascent HR - 15 “Classic” poor performance
  16. 16. Can Roger Dismiss Ed?  Potentially have a valid reason for dismissal on the basis of capacity – if Roger can demonstrate Ed’s poor performance.  BUT Roger:  Never told Ed this was an issue previously;  Never warned Ed of impact on poor performance (eg, potential for dismissal); and  Never provided Ed with an opportunity to improve. (c) Ascent HR - 16 “Classic” poor performance Any dismissal of Ed now will almost certainly be an unfair dismissal!
  17. 17. Roger’s options Two options:  Dismiss Ed now… and write a cheque for unfair dismissal costs (max. award 6 months’ salary) – or be ordered to reinstate him. OR  Give Ed an opportunity to improve… and if he fails to improve performance, dismiss him fairly. (c) Ascent HR - 17 “Classic” poor performance
  18. 18. Managing Ed – the right solution  Provide Ed with the opportunity to improve – through performance management process.  Options:  Informal action: • Quiet word, counselling, opportunity to improve before going into a formal process.  Formal action: • Performance management process & performance improvement plan. (c) Ascent HR - 18 “Classic” poor performance
  19. 19. Performance management process  Dismissal for poor performance will only be fair where:  employee understands performance expectations;  has been informed that s/he is not meeting expectations; and  has been given the opportunity to improve her/his performance. SO… (c) Ascent HR - 19 “Classic” poor performance
  20. 20. Performance management process (cont.)  Meet with the employee and inform her/him that performance is below expectations.  Explain what the expectations are.  Put the employee on a performance improvement plan (“PIP”).  Consider training/informal coaching to assist in performance improvement.  Monitor performance against the PIP on a regular (eg, monthly) basis.  Take disciplinary action if performance does not improve. (c) Ascent HR - 20 “Classic” poor performance
  21. 21. Preparing for the meeting Prepare in advance of the meeting:  Rough script of what will be covered – see hand out.  Evidence of poor performance.  Performance improvement plan – see hand out. (c) Ascent HR - 21 “Classic” poor performance
  22. 22. Preparing for the meeting (cont.) Rough script  Manager:  presents concerns and evidence;  listens to the employee’s explanations;  discusses the situation with the employee; and  develops performance improvement plan.  Common pitfalls to avoid:  losing control of the meeting/not covering all points;  being too nice/benefit of the doubt; and  being too defensive/closed minded. (c) Ascent HR - 22 “Classic” poor performance
  23. 23. Preparing for the meeting (cont.) Establishing poor performance  What should the employee be doing?  Job description.  Employment contract.  Organisational chart.  Other sources?  What is the employee doing?  Emails.  File notes.  Appraisals.  Records from informal performance discussions. (c) Ascent HR - 23 “Classic” poor performance
  24. 24. Preparing for the meeting (cont.)  In preparation for the meeting, Anna gets out Ed’s 2009 performance appraisal: – End of year: “Ed has achieved all of his objectives. Ed has received excellent comments from his customers which reflects his commitment to the businesses he works with.”  Roger: “What?! His performance is terrible!”  Previous positive performance appraisal makes it difficult to establish poor performance. Do yourself a favour – give honest performance appraisals! (c) Ascent HR - 24 “Classic” poor performance
  25. 25. Preparing for the meeting (cont.) Performance Improvement Plan  Specific targets  Measurable targets  Achievable targets  Realistic targets  Time based targets Must ensure employee is crystal clear about what the expectations are and when they must be met. (c) Ascent HR - 25 “Classic” poor performance
  26. 26. During the meeting…  Ed’s very angry about the allegations of poor performance:  Never been an issue before – see past performance appraisals.  Issue arises because Roger just doesn’t like him – it’s a personality clash with new manager.  Targets set in the PIP aren’t achievable – none of the accountants meet these standards. (c) Ascent HR - 26 “Classic” poor performance
  27. 27. Responding to Ed’s comments  Anna & Roger listen to Ed’s comments.  However, have documented examples of poor performance – e.g., objective evidence of poor performance.  What about allegation re unreasonable targets set under the PIP? (c) Ascent HR - 27 “Classic” poor performance
  28. 28. Warne v ANZ Banking Group  Facts:  Warne employed as business development manager.  Placed on PIP – and ultimately dismissed for failure to meet sales targets.  Commission:  Performance targets not realistically set – as evidence by the fact that all business development managers in WA were not meeting.  On that basis, no valid reason for dismissal. Ensure targets set are reasonable and being achieved by the rest of the workforce! (c) Ascent HR - 28 “Classic” poor performance
  29. 29. First review meeting  After investigating Ed’s comments about the targets, Roger & Anna revise the PIP and commence managing Ed against the PIP.  Six weeks later, at the first review meeting, Ed has met some but not all of his performance targets.  Roger’s question to Anna: “He’s had a chance to improve, can I dismiss now?” (c) Ascent HR - 29 “Classic” poor performance
  30. 30. How long is long enough? Need to be given long enough to improve before taking disciplinary action. Factors in how long is long enough: Nature of the job – how difficult it is to learn new skills; Employee’s status/seniority within the organisation; Employee’s length of service; and Employee’s performance history. (c) Ascent HR - 30 “Classic” poor performance
  31. 31. Taking it one step at a time Rarely, if ever, acceptable to go straight to dismissal for performance reasons – step through the process:  Verbal warning.  Written warning.  Second & final written warning.  Dismissal. (c) Ascent HR - 31 “Classic” poor performance