employee is not meeting expectations you should tell them where they are
falling short. OK, no argument here. It is a management responsibility to put significant
concerns about job performance in writing, particularly those that are serious
enough to lead to termination. I wish all employers followed this practice.
When I ask an employer, “Does the employee know these poor results could get
them fired?” too often I hear, “they should.”
managers putting something in writing involves setting up a 30, 60 or 90 day
improvement plan. This includes a neat list of goals, targets and maybe some
training. I think this is a pretty useless exercise.
What happens on the 91st
frustration with these occurs when the employee shapes up until the proscribed
period is over. This is most common in situations when individual attendance is
problematic. The employee cleans up their act for 90 days and is three hours
late for the next shift.
Is this really a last chance or are
you building a file?
or not there is a difference between appropriate documentation and building a
file. When you create a paper trail to support a termination decision it can be
pretty obvious. Violations of company policies and procedures are ignored until
someone gets fed up and starts issuing warnings.
reason to wait until poor performance builds into a significant headache.
Follow up all the time and you will quickly learn whether or not the person can
perform to standards. Decide in advance
when enough is enough and apply the standard consistently.
What’s your line?
this statement, or very something similar, “Failure to meet expectations may
result in further disciplinary action up to and including termination.” When
the employee messes up again on the 95th day, you have not put
yourself in a box. And when the employee turns around for 5 years and then
slips up you are not being inconsistent when you reinforce the expectations.
“may” result in further action. And yes, practice saying the word termination,
or, “you could be fired.” Don’t chicken out and give the employee a written
statement without a verbal explanation of the consequences.
Are the expectations clear?
performance management begins by establishing clear expectations. No one can be
expected to meet standards if they have not been explained. Forget jargon and
don’t make assumptions about previous experience. If you are afraid you will
insult a long term employee ask them some specific questions; “What materials
do you need to complete the task?” or “What steps will you take to meet this
expectations and good follow up you can skip improvement plans of any length.