This is the frustrated expression we often hear from our clients when an employee is performing badly at work. “It’s not rocket science” is another one.
Before judging the person’s performance, employers should ask themselves some key questions regarding their own input to the employee’s:
Recruitment – such as the questions and competencies involved
Probationary period – what actions, reviews, developmental support took place?
Management – including feedback and review process, management style
Consensus HR always encourages employers to look at their own responsibilities within this type of situation. “Asking about the recruitment and support process often highlights different contributory factors leading to poor employees’ performance” explains Matthew Pinto-Chilcott of Consensus HR.
“Covering all areas of the Employee Life Cycle will ensure that employers get the most from their teams” adds Matthew. This includes stages of recruitment, development, law, training & development, rewards & incentives through to saying goodbye in the correct way. “Having the correct policies & procedures in place and actively practicing them will result in a motivated team with an increase in sales and reduction in turnover.”
The probationary period is a key stage in ensuring that employees will be able to deliver what is required of their role. Consensus HR has developed a three-month probationary workbook. It allows clients with new employees to take ownership of their development within the first three months of their new role with full support from the manager or business owner.
The workbook’s process multiplies over time with continual planned feedback sessions. It puts the emphasis on the new employees to develop and ask questions if they are unsure about any tasks or their role. This helps them to become a valued member of the team within the first three months of employment. If this doesn’t happen, then the business is able to say goodbye knowing that appropriate action and support has taken place.
Matthew explains: “This tool proved invaluable when having to deal with a recent race discrimination case. It enabled the business owner to demonstrate that the reasons for the person not getting the permanent role did not involve their colour or gender. We were able to show that they were not up to the role and had not been treated less favourably despite being successful at the first stage of recruitment and the interview.”
It is never fair or safe to assume that you understand the reason for poor performance. Appropriate systems need to be in place to determine the real reasons, such as:
- a performance review process that includes personal & company SMART objectives
- regular identification of development needs are identified and met for the team
- having a frank discussion with an individual (about their performance and what is expected of him/her)
Ultimately, it is important to explain how the business can help and agree what is to be achieved going forward – and by when.
Healthy, productive teams need regular communication, documented for future use whether congratulations or official warnings are in order. Contact Matthew to find out about our Probationary Workbook and how it will help you.