Sometimes we are faced with the difficult situation of having an employee that is having performance management issues and just isn’t working out for the business.
If the performance issues are severe it is easy to get impatient and want to exit them from the company as quickly as possible.
In these sorts of situations, you end up faced with the dilemma of dealing with the employment risks whilst doing what is best for the business.
A lot of employers can get frustrated with long winded HR processes in places, especially if an employee is showing signs of serious performance issues that are damaging to the business.
So how can you handle these sorts of situations?
Firstly, remember that your people plan is there to protect and support the business – It might be frustrating and you might feel like you just want that bad apple out of the business right now, but by following your performance management process you could be saving yourself a lot of trouble in the long run. Unfair dismissals do happen, we support people through them all the time, and 9/10 the entire situation could have been prevented by simply having and/or following their performance management process.
Don’t let the situation get away from you – By being proactive about your performance management you will spot the issues much sooner and therefore you can solve the problem before it gets frustrating. This might mean looking at your 1-2-1’s and your feedback process as well as having better communication between yourself and your HR support.
Is your process the best it could be? – How long has it been since you assessed or updated your process? Chances are you could make a few tweaks that will give you a balanced approach that suits the business needs as well as ticking the HR boxes. Something simple like having a different process for those with under two years’ service could be the answer. Create a process with regular reviews in their first two years (they are unlikely to be able to claim unfair dismissal). You can then exit them with little risk if things don’t work out. Remember this doesn’t apply if it is found that you are discriminating based on a protected characteristic, however.
Protected conversations are risky but could be effective – If your underperforming employee has been with the business for over two years then there is no easy way out. However, by using protected conversations, you are safe from the risk of a claim. But remember that if the employee should say no, then the process could be much messier as they will now know you intend to exit them from the company.