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Here’s What You Can Do for an Underperforming Employee

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Having a one-on-one with an employee who is not meeting their expectations in their role can be a challenge among HR professionals and managers, not to mention a headache for HR compliance. Whether it is addressed during a performance review or a separate meeting, it should hopefully serve as a productive means of improving their focus, skills and overall competence.

Being properly prepared with the specific details of their performance and expectations is essential to a productive meeting and maintaining HR compliance. The topic of conversation may not be the most optimistic at first. Still, by clearly understanding where an employee could improve and following certain guidelines, you can hopefully turn a negative situation into a positive one.

Talk to the Them ASAP to Maintain HR Compliance

It’s not difficult for any seasoned manager to recognize an employee is struggling in their role. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests it’s best to arrange a meeting with the employee much sooner than later. In some cases, an employee may be aware of their underperformance and may expect such a meeting to occur. So, by delaying the meeting, they could use that to their advantage and allege an unlawful action through a lawyer. In the event, the discussion needs to be delayed, document the planned meeting and include what is involved, and why it had to be postponed. 

Hear Them Out 

No one likes to hear bad news about their work performance. Nonetheless, they may have a good reason for not meeting their responsibilities, and perhaps a sound solution can be made moving forward. So, be sure to hear them out or find the source of the problem.

Document Everything for HR Compliance

While it’s important to document why the meeting was postponed, it’s ten times as important to document everything that was discussed for HR compliance. If the employee is terminated and a wrongful dismissal lawsuit results, you’ll have the meeting on the company record. Using formal guidelines, stating company policies, and explaining expectations to outlining consequences and getting a signature are just some aspects to document.

Be Clear on the Company’s Expectations

The SHRM also recommends that the employee be made aware of their expectations, clarify the problems, set specific objectives (that may involve some further training) and then arrange a date to discuss progress. On a final note, the meeting should conclude positively, which may provide some added diligence to their role and overall performance.

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