In any organisation the work performance of its employees is integral to effective operational outputs. Leaders and managers play an important role in influencing employees to establish and maintain a high level of work performance. Some employees are naturally motivated, hardworking, and engaged. Whereas other employees will take up a considerable about of a manager’s time supervising performance and workplace conduct. Regardless of how an employee engages in their duties and within the workplace, they should all be performance managed to ensure they complete their role to the highest standard.
What is performance management?
Performance management is often seen as a formal process undertaken at a time when under performance or workplace misconduct has occurred. However, performance management is an on-going process that promotes a high standard of performance from employees, teams and an organisation as a whole. The ongoing development of individuals is supported, and their strengths utilised.
Effective performance management includes:
- Setting expectations and planning work
- Monitoring performance
- Supporting employee development
- Reviewing performance
- Rewarding good performance
Developing a system that incorporates these fundamental principles supports continued high performance in the workplace. However, there are times when under performance and workplace misconduct occur. When this happens, it is important these issues are addressed quickly and with consideration.
Under performance and workplace misconduct
Under performance can be described as an employee failing to complete tasks as required and to an appropriate standard. Whereas misconduct is acts such as being consistently late and inappropriate behaviour in the workplace.
When under performance and misconduct in the workplace are not addressed it can have a detrimental impact on a team and organisational culture and dynamics, lead to workplace conflict and further decline in work performance and behaviour.
Managing under performance and workplace misconduct
In instances of minor performance issues, such as an employee being late on a few occasions an informal conversation can be had between a manager and the employee to address the issue. Steps should be established to deal with the issue, which should be monitored, and progress reviewed.
When addressing serious issues of performance and misconduct a formal approach is to be adopted. As a first step a meeting with the employee should be organised. The employee needs to be aware of what the meeting is about and have the option of bringing a support person with them. During the meeting all parties need to be able to voice their concerns and actively listen to one another. If possible, a solution should be agreed upon and steps outlined to achieve the desired outcome. A record of the meeting needs to be documented and circulated to all involved.
There will be occasions where disciplinary action may be taken, this can come in the form of a formal warning. A warning should be written and include the reason for the warning, be clear and clarify expectations moving forward. It is good practice to consult a workplace relations professional if issuing a formal warming.
Continued follow up and monitoring of the employee’s performance and conduct needs to be undertaken. This can be in the form of regular catch-up meetings, which are effective ways to manage progress and provide feedback on employee’s performance. If poor performance and workplace misconduct continue consideration may need to be given on how to best manage the employee into the future.