HR Advice for Addressing Employee Performance Issues

  • Minimum wage
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Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

Every business owner wants to get the most out of their workforce. Unfortunately, employee development can have its uncomfortable moments. For instance, how do you tell an employee they are not meeting the standard of performance you have set for them?

This post covers how employers can successfully address an employee who is having performance issues – while keeping them motivated and an engaged member of the team.

Step 1: Define the Performance Issue

In this step, the employer must address the core performance issue at hand. Ideally, this should be handled in a face-to-face meeting between the employer and employee. In this step, the employer should:

  • State their concern to the employee;
  • Share any observations; and
  • Tell how the employee’s performance is negatively impacting their team or the company as a whole.

Step 2: Discuss Potential Causes of the Issue

When addressing performance issues, it is important that the employer does not jump to negative conclusions (e.g., the employee is lazy or incompetent). There could be a very legitimate reason, preventing that individual from performing at a high level.

The employee should have the opportunity to explain their position and provide further insight into their performance. Many factors can influence employee performance, such as:

  • Too much work
  • Lack of training
  • Conflict with coworkers

Step 3: Collaborate to Find the Best Solution

After completing the above two steps, the employer and employee in question, should have a solid understanding of what caused the breakdown in performance; and begin looking for a solution to the problem.

Employers should allow the employee to lead the solution generation process. This is important as an employee is more likely to buy into a plan they were instrumental in creating. Also, this makes holding the employee accountable even easier, as they played a key role in determining the ideal solution for them moving forward. This also communicates to the employee that the employer trusts their insight and decision-making ability.

Step 4: Communicate the Consequences

Establishing consequences is easily one of the most challenging aspects of this whole process. The objective in this step is to address the next course of action, should the employee’s CURRENT performance not evolve to meet the EXPECTED performance.

It should be noted that consequences do not have to mean threatening termination or other disciplinary action. Perhaps the employee will no longer be eligible to work remotely or receive a promotion (until the problem areas has been addressed).

Step 5: Voice Your Confidence in Them

Employers must realize one of the best gifts they can give their staff is their support and confidence. When staff members truly understand their employer is rooting for their success and wants them to succeed and achieve their personal goals within the organization, the staff member will not only want to excel for themselves but want to give that employer their very best effort.

Be a leader your staff want to follow!


Need help addressing employee performance issues in your organization?

At Peninsula, we recognize the immense value that small businesses bring to the economy and have made it our personal mission to help these organizations thrive!

Through our team of HR professionals, employers have access to HR consultingcontract & policy creation, an unlimited 24-hour advice line and much more! Give us a call at: 1 (833) 247-3652

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