Most employees want to be successful contributors to an organization. They want to know what is expected of them and how they can most effectively achieve those expectations. Performance management is the process that a manager applies to link an employee’s individual performance to organizational goals and performance measures. Performance management promotes employee engagement, productivity, growth, and retention.
While employees experience many types of performance issues, most fall into one of three categories:
Performance usually becomes an issue when there is a pattern of unmet expectations. However, a single incident may be severe enough to merit disciplinary action.
Identify the Source of the Problem before taking action. Before jumping to disciplinary action, ensure the performance issue is willful. Disciplinary action is unlikely to improve performance if the cause is a lack of clear expectations or the death of a family member. Review the employee’s past performance and talk directly with them before jumping to conclusions.
Focus on success. The purpose of corrective and disciplinary action is not to punish an employee. It’s to alert the employee that there is a significant issue that needs to be addressed. The ultimate goal is to improve the performance.
Consider the impact you want. Especially when taking disciplinary action, employers should address three goals:
Identify required competencies. Supervisors and employees should clearly understand the knowledge skills, abilities, and behaviors required to meet performance expectations. This allows supervisors to assess whether a competency gap is the driver of a productivity problem, and determine an appropriate course of action.
Address issues immediately. Postponing action often results in ‘paying twice,’ as the organization deals with both the individual’s productivity loss and the negative impact on the morale and productivity of other employees.
Give employees access to external support. Performance issues are often the result of personal life difficulties such as illness, home life issues, or substance abuse. Make sure that employees are aware of access to individual support through the Employee Assistance Program.
To see a full list of responsibilities, refer to OFM's website Addressing Performance Issues.
In the event that performance does not meet established requirements, supervisor must understand how to address performance issues and know the methods that can help improve employee performance. Please contact your HR Business Partner for support and advice to address employee performance issues.