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Management Training Tips: How to Address Poor Performance

Written by Andy Trainer – Thu 21 Apr 2011


Management Training: Performance Management

One of the most daunting tasks for any manager, and especially a newly appointed manager (who often manage people who were formerly at the same level), is dealing with poor performance. However – not dealing with poor performance will, in the long run, give a manager much bigger problems to overcome.

We cover Performance Management in detail on our Management Training and Leadership Training programmes, as well as on our Appraisals Training Course. All of these courses run on a public basis in Brighton, Sussex.

This article provides some practical advice for managers on how to prepare for, conduct, and follow up a meeting to tackle poor performance

Preparing to raise the issue

1.  Define and clarify the problem

  • What is the basis of your concern, and is this justified?   Is the problem serious enough to warrant action?   Can you, and should you, live with it or is the behaviour or performance unacceptable?
  • What, precisely, is the gap between the person’s behaviour/performance and what is required?
  • ‘Attitude problems’ must be redefined clearly and specifically in terms of the observable behaviour manifested by the person concerned and its effects.  Performance problems need to be quantified or described with reference to agreed and clearly defined standards and guidelines.
  • What change do you want to result from the discussion?  You cannot raise an issue without having a clear picture of the new behaviour or revised level of performance you expect from the member of staff.
  • What facts/evidence do you have?  Are you happy about the information you have, and about its source?  If you need more information, from where can you get it?  What records or other sources of data exist?  Is there anyone else to whom you need to speak?

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