Helping with long-serving employees who are not performing

Every business, at some point, will have to deal with an underperforming employee. When one staff member is underperforming it can bring down the team morale and also affect the overall goals of your business. It is important to find a solution to help both your business and the employee at hand. This can be especially tricky to deal with when the employee is longstanding.

Underperforming doesn’t necessarily just mean their workload; this could also link to how they behave in the office and towards their fellow employees. Once you realise that a member of your team is underperforming, it’s important to launch an investigation to understand why they are not performing and then carry out the correct procedures to rectify this. This isn’t just a simple process, it takes time and employers must take a diplomatic, yet sensitive approach to this. Why?  Your staff, might not be underperforming because of the job and work itself, but because of external matters such as health, home life, bullying in the workplace and other factors – in which case employers must explore reasonable adjustments and additional support.

So, how does an employer decide that it’s got to the point where help is needed? Here at CoLaw, we see a lot of employees who have fallen under the radar, we want to emphasise that this issue should get picked up straight away. If the issue isn’t actioned, it can be detrimental to the growth of your business and/or other staff members.

The first steps to take is understanding why your longstanding employee isn’t performing, bringing this issue up for the first time can be difficult and the person who takes these steps should have a good relationship with the employee, ensuring that this is approached in the right manner.

So, how can CoLaw help?

When this situation arises, it’s not unusual that employers don’t know where to start in tackling this. This is where we can step in, the team at CoLaw will help you to put policies and procedures in place to identify how these issues should be tackled, of which will provide continuity for your business if this problem was to arise more than once.

These policies and procedures will help to ensure that your business has the relevant support in place for both yourself and your employees. We are here to help you by providing the right questions to ask, work with you to create letters, a capability plan and general advice on how to approach these situations and dealing with the outcome of meeting with your employee.

A capability plan is where we outline the problems and create solutions by setting targets, what improvements the business needs to see and a time frame on when those improvements should be complete. We will also implement any additional training that may be required, such as mentoring.

Capability procedures can ultimately result in dismissal if the employee doesn’t make an improvement or reach the targets set. During this procedure, there will be a formal performance review process, of which you can repeat three times, your employee must have reasonable notice of the meeting and they have the statutory right to be accompanied. If improvement isn’t made, then they need to be issued with a formal warning, a final performance warning and then ultimately, the termination of employment.

A bespoke service

We pride ourselves on providing tailored and bespoke documentation to all of our clients. By understanding how your business is run, we can help you and your employees to overcome any issues diplomatically.

Although there is nothing to stop you from dealing with employee issues on your own accord, it is not an easy job. We can take these worries away and ensure that your business is compliant with all legislation when it comes to the dismissal of employees.