Are you managing underperformance the best way you can?


Managing underperformance is an area where Managers tend to get frustrated with HR and the perceived ‘red tape,’ without recognising the importance of their role in managing the issue in the first place.


As an Employment Lawyer, performance related concerns largely hit my radar when clients are at their wits end with a poorly performing individual – They usually want to know how quickly they can dismiss them! However, it is important that we look at how both the employer and individual got to that stage in the first place.


All Managers have the duty to manage performance from day one of employment and throughout the employment lifecycle. See below 5 examples of how to help you achieve this:


  1. Set off to a good start by setting clear expectations in your recruitment, contract, policies and procedures and induction.


  1. Make full use out of your probationary periods; set reminders before the end of a probationary period so that if you’re not sure whether an employee fits within your organisation, tell them why and consider extending their probationary period.


  1. Communicate with employees and address any issues as they arise – don’t let them fester!


  1. Write things down, log every issue so you have clear evidence and examples to raise with employees during your reviews.


  1. Managers need to look at what they can do to support their staff and help them to perform to a satisfactory standard. Do not just set them up to fail or sit back and watch them underperform before dismissing them. In order to justify a fair dismissal on the grounds of performance-related incapability, you need to provide reasonable objectives and a reasonable opportunity to improve.


If you need any advice or help with managing performance, get in touch with us 0115 8700150 or email us at



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