Five actions to take before you fire your poor performing employee

Tracey Ndlovu, 27 May. 2015

Tags: poor performing, poor performing employee, performance meetings, improve employee performance

James, one of your employees, doesn't perform his duties or meet the expectations.

You've had a few performance meetings with him, but he's still not pulling up his weight. Even worse, he's now dragging your whole team down!

So what do you do, fire him?

No, legally, you can't fire him. But you can take these five actions to help him improve his performance.

Keep reading below...

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Five actions you must take to deal with poor performance correctly
Action 1: Identify the symptoms of the problem and why it's a problem.
Is the employee violating company policy?
Is the employee behaving inappropriately?
Is the employee failing to perform the job?
Why is the problem serious?

Action 2: Understand why the employee isn't performing.
Does the employee understand that a problem exists?
Does the employee know and understand company policies or job requirements?
Are there mitigating circumstances impacting on the employee?
What is the employee's perspective?

Action 3: Provide support and direction.
Ask the employee for ideas to solve the problem.
Offer your suggestions to correct the problem.
Agree on the performance solutions.
Agree on the timeframes to improve.

Action 4: Support your employee's efforts to correct the problem.
Thank the employee for being willing to correct the problem.
Encourage and motivate the employee.
Provide direction if the employee loses confidence.
Applaud the employee's success in resolving the issue.

Action 5: If all else fails, use the applicable process.
Exhaust all other options first.
Determine the underlying reason for the lack of performance improvement.
Use the correct disciplinary process if he won't willingly perform her job.

Remember, you have to follow a fair process when dealing with poor performance (incapacity dismissals). And you also have to give your employee every opportunity to meet the required standards (Chapter 8 of the Labour Relations Act). 

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