The most important aspect of any work environment is to ensure that performance is properly managed within the workforce. In order for any business to remain competitive, all employees need to perform at their best level. The following is a quick guide that provides the essentials on performance management of employees and warnings in Australia.
What is a high-performing employee?
Any business that is considered a high-performance venture is going to have to meet a certain number of requirements. There should be an increase in productivity that is continuous and shows little signs of losing momentum.
All employees in a high-performing business are usually very engaged and committed to their work. Not only that, but the business they work for is able to retain them for the long haul. The goal is to ensure the prosperity of talented and productive workers.
When performance is good, there is no need to take any serious action. With that said, it is always important to remember that things can be improved even when they seem to be working at optimal levels.
What is an underperforming employee?
An underperforming employee is not necessarily someone who lacks talent or skills. Underperformance can be caused by many factors and it starts with a decrease in productivity. You will also start to see more customers who seem to be unhappy with the service they receive. When employees are not motivated, these issues can start to become more frequent.
How can underperformance be prevented?
There are several ways to ensure that employees can start performing better and the following are the most useful strategies:
• Encourage employees to always voice their concerns with management.
• Conduct surveys to see what employees have to say about their work environment.
• Handle all issues that you see occurring with employees as quickly as possible.
• List all expectations for specific positions within the workforce.
• Make sure that employees are respectful to each other.
What is serious misconduct in the workplace?
There are cases when an employee can engage in serious misconduct and this has to be handled immediately. It can be a situation of physical or verbal abuse of a co-worker or employer, a deliberate change in their behavior, or an attempt to provoke management to terminate their contract.
How to handle warnings with underperforming employees?
It’s important to determine if an employee is underperforming due to a lack of interest, or because of a problem that is originating within the workplace. The main thing to consider is that employees deserve to get warnings for any mistakes they make.
Legally speaking, there is no specific rule that states the number of warnings that an employee can receive. However, best practice recommends three formal warnings and a reasonable amount of time between warnings to allow the employee to improve with the support of the employer. Proper performance Management of employees includes clearly defining this to each employee. Sometimes all it takes is for employees to be heard in order to see an improvement in their performance.
It would be fair for all employees to receive at least one warning before being fired. The employer should always consider how much time it is worth investing in a single employee. If the issues persist after the first warning, the employer needs to use their best judgment to decide if the employee can stay in their workforce.
Terminating a contract with an employee is never an easy process and it is difficult to make that kind of decision. With that said, proper performance management of employees can help you make a more accurate decision. One that the employee will have no choice but to acknowledge if it is based on specific performance data.
Our previous post on Termination of Employment and Procedural Compliance contains more detailed information regarding the Commonwealth workplace laws. It elaborates on the established rules about terminating employment and how they must be followed in order to ensure termination is lawful and fair.
Remember it is critical to ensure that the termination of employment is for a valid reason and certain rules such as notice, and final pay (severance pay) have to be adhered to. Our team provides HR Consulting in Melbourne and across Australia to help navigate you through the process, call us today if you need assistance.