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Performance Management

Processes, scripts and scenarios to handle typical issues in the workplace.

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Jake has been employed for 3 months and is not performing the duties of his role well at all. His attention to detail is poor and has resulted in a number of customers being unhappy with the service received.  Jake has been spoken to already about the importance of following the procedures to avoid items not being sent to the right address yet, the same thing has occurred twice since he was given that feedback.


Whilst on the surface it appears Jake is a poor performer, we should, at all times, seek to ensure we know what is happening for the employee and that they are fit and able to have the conversation around performance.  You may ask something like “Jake, I want to talk to you about your work performance today. Is there anything that I don’t know going on for you before we start?” Assuming he says ‘no all good’, you continue.

  • Book a meeting with your employee at a specific time and day for no longer than around 30-45 minutes.
  • Send an email or text inviting them to the meeting. In the invitation make it clear that the meeting is to discuss their performance in the role.
  • Offer the option of bringing a support person if he wishes to. A support person is a witness to the conversation. They do not speak and do not have an opinion. They are there to observe and then document their version of events without further discussion.
  • If you have HR within the business it is advisable that they attend the meeting as well.


You outline for Jake the mistakes that he has been making, and why it is of concern, then ask him to explain from his perspective why these mistakes are happening. Listen and do not express judgement.

  • At the commencement of the meeting only state facts. Let your employee know you are meeting to seek clarification and understanding around a few incidents or behaviors that are concerning for you.
  • Link the behavior where possible back to company policies and procedures.
  • You can only use specific factual examples. It is not appropriate to raise anything that cannot be supported.
  • Be sure not to accuse your employee of anything and merely ask questions with the sole intent of seeking to understand his version of events to ensure that there is nothing that you are currently unaware of that explains or has contributed to the behavior/actions.


Based on what you know and now what you have heard from Jake, you determine the next steps. If Jake does not provide a reasonable explanation for the ongoing mistakes you may be looking at terminating his employment, providing additional training and a warning, or reallocating him to another task.

  • Once your employee has been allowed to explain their perspective you must agree any future action to be taken.


Be clear with Jake about what is happening. If a warning is to be issued make it clear you are issuing him with a warning and if there is not a change in behavior it may result in the termination of this employment. We clearly explain the behaviours that we expect from all employees including Jake.

  • Be very clear and specific with what is expected of all parties.
  • It is best practice to document the outcomes of the meeting and where possible all parties (that is the company and the employee) sign to acknowledge an understanding of the conversation and agreement on a path forward.


Set a review date with Jake to follow up and assess if the required changes have been made. Document the conversation for future reference.

  • Where a follow-up is required, the date and time must be set and agreed upon at the conclusion of this meeting. The meeting should not be altered unless there is an emergency on the day. The meeting should be set in the future allowing enough time for a “change of behaviour”. A reasonable timeframe, depending on the behaviour to be altered, is two weeks.

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