Reviewing a non-performer

Reviewing a non-performer

Don’t wait for the appraisal to address areas of non-performance! Deal with them as they happen, give actual examples of non-performance and specific tasks or results that you expect to be achieved, and in what time frame, to rectify the situation.

The performance appraisal should be a positive exchange of feedback and ideas for development – this is unlikely to happen if non-performance is the main topic… This is not to say that weaknesses should not be addressed, but where possible strengths should also be identified and built upon.

If an employee has areas that need improvement, and lets face it there wouldn’t be many of us that don’t, the key is to make sure the improvement is addressed in a positive way. Have specific examples of the employees’ problem area ready. Rather than just saying, for example, that their manner with colleagues or customers is abrupt, try and site particular cases that YOU have overheard, or that have been reported to you by an objective third party.

In most cases, an employee will understandably want to defend themselves, so having a second example is always useful. Try and get them to talk about the reasons they reacted that way, what it was that caused them to say or do what they did. Getting someone to agree that they could have handled the situation better is a major step towards improvement.

Work out how those negative circumstances can be avoided, or at least identified, to prevent the same problem recurring. Ask the employee what their suggested solution might be. It could be a case of organising training, even ‘on the job’ with a more experienced colleague, or simply a change in behaviour. This can then be built in as a performance measure to be reviewed for the next appraisal.

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