Top Tips for Managing Performance Issues

In a small business everyone’s contribution counts, but that doesn’t mean that poor performance cant still get swept under the carpet.  This might be because managers are busy dealing with more pressing issues or because they know having a performance conversation is going to create conflict.  However, if poor performance is not addressed, it can quickly impact the rest of your team in terms of delivery and morale.  Here are some tips to help you proactively manage poor performance:

  1. Don’t ignore it – as soon as you notice someone isn’t performing well, even if they are normally a good performer, have an informal conversation with them about it.  You should be supportive and seek to understand what is happening. They might be dealing with a personal issue or something that can be very easily resolved. Either way make sure you document the conversation and put it on their file.
  2. Allow enough time to improve performance – The amount of time you should allow depends on the nature of the performance issue, so when you are setting these time limits ask yourself if it is a reasonable request and make sure the employee is aware of the expectation.
  3. Acknowledge any improvement – Often all it takes is an informal conversation to see an improvement in performance.  When this happens make sure you acknowledge the improvement so the employee knows you have noticed, this is a great way to increase their motivation
  4. Follow up quickly if performance doesn’t improve – When performance doesn’t improve its important to follow up on this as soon as possible.  This might mean going down a more formal route, which can result in dismissal.  If you don’t already have a policy on this process you can find guidance on the ACAS website, or you can contact us for advice.

People Management Partners is an HR Consultancy supporting startup, small and medium sized businesses in London, Kent and beyond.  We offer bespoke services in addition to a low cost HR Startup Kit, containing everything a small business needs to be compliant with employment law, and help them manage day to day people management issues such as performance management.

Sarah BeaneComment