How to effectively manage employee underperformance is a key skill in a manager and team leader’s repertoire.

This article is designed as a general guide for how to begin approaching this sensitive subject. It is not a replacement for professional advice and support so please get in touch so that we can help your particular situation.

There are many reasons why underperformance needs to be addressed, quickly and effectively. These include: improving the performance and quality of output of the organisation; encouragement of optimum performance from staff members; minimising of sickness absence; avoiding legal challenges such as discrimination; minimising damage to staff morale, burden and quality of service.

Poor performance may manifest in a variety of ways such as declining quality of work, reduced productivity or delays in completion of projects and tasks and an overall decline in attitude to work, peers and management.

To address employee underperformance a fair procedure must be followed where there is a clear definition of the poor performance from the outset. Of course, if the underperformance is occurring at the start of someone’s employment then a probationary period with clearly defined purpose, length and terms, can help alleviate quickly and effectively, increasing issues later.

The process of dealing with underperformance of a member of staff begins with an informal approach. This may include establishing the facts, informing the employee of the situation, an initial meeting and discussion with them, setting of clear and attainable written targets for improvement within clear timescales and provision of support to help them achieve them. At this point a clear review date is required and a warning that failure to meet the targets may lead to formal action.

Gathering the facts at this informal stage may identify the root of the problem, underlying issues, and the triggers.

If the informal approach does not achieve the desired positive outcomes then the formal approach is required.

The formal approach requires a detailed investigation, written invitation to the employee to attend a capability meeting (the employee may be accompanied) with a note taker present and a reference back to the informal approach or appraisal. Further targets and timescales for improvement may be set at this stage and further appropriate support may include additional training, delegation of work and re-allocation of duties.

At this point, sanctions may need to be applied, such as a written warning, final written warning, dismissal with notice or other sanctions such as demotion.

If the result of the process is a dismissal then it must be fair in all the circumstances under consideration. There is an ACAS guide to disciplinary and grievance procedures for example which contains general principles of fairness and these can be incorporated within the employer’s own procedures.

Managing an employee who is underperforming is a complex, intricate and sensitive legal process. To ensure you have the appropriate support and processes in place please get in touch and we can talk you through the steps required.

improving employee engagement

How to improve employee engagement should be a real focus in the work of leaders, managers, team heads and of course HR professionalsHow to improve employee engagement should be a real focus in the work of leaders, managers, team heads and of course HR professionals.

Employees are the heart blood of every organisation. Without them there is no organisation. Some businesses allocate countless resources to their branding, marketing, production, innovation and business development, and place their people lower down the list of priorities.

People are what makes the organisation tick and so figuring out how to improve their engagement should be high on the list from board meetings to day to day operations.

We would love to share our experience with you to see how we might work together to improve the engagement of your staff. Please get in touch.

In the meantime you might be interested in visiting Engage for Success.

Acas Maternity Guidance

Acas has published guidance for employers on how to prevent pregnancy and maternity discrimination at work. Several measures are recommended, including:

•          Developing a policy that outlines the responsibilities and rights of pregnant employees (or those on maternity leave), including assurances that they will not be dismissed or made redundant as a result.
•          Ensuring that employees on maternity leave are aware of all promotion and training opportunities.
•          Making reasonable adjustments to protect the health and safety of a pregnant employee and their unborn child.
Acas published its new guidance after receiving 14,000 calls about pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the last year (a 10% increase compared to the previous year).
Get in touch for more assistance and guidance that compliments this article.
HR Support Healthcare

You have found a consultancy who provide dedicated HR support for Healthcare Practices.

From helping you to manage your current employees, assessing your workforce levels, or recruiting staff to support the growth of your practice, Narrow Quay HR provides customisable HR solutions to support you both strategically and tactically.

HR Support Package for Healthcare Practices

For a fixed monthly fee, we are able to support your healthcare practice, with HR services from commencement to termination of employment and everything you encounter in between.

We balance a commercial approach with pragmatism, to ensure you comply with best HR practice and receive practical advice that works.

Our HR consultants are qualified Employment lawyers who specialise in HR, giving you the best of both worlds: solid legal expertise and HR solutions.

We don’t just tell you what you can and can’t do, we work with you to find a tailored solution that’s best for you and your practice.

 

  • In-depth HR audit at the start of the relationship, to enable us to understand your practice
  • Fixed annual fee, taking away any concerns over unforeseen expenses
  • 24-hour telephone and email helpline
  • Training events at discounted rates
  • Invitation to an annual round-table meeting with our HR team to discuss strategy and to review progress
  • Subscription to our Employment Law Brief to ensure you are kept up to date
  • Template employment contracts and handbooks
  • Investigations into disciplinary, grievance or other challenging HR issues and panel support where required
  • Support with redundancies or restructuring, with on-site support if needed

For further information, please contact Sarah Want on 0117 314 5363 or Caitlin Anniss on 0117 314 5264