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Managing Under-Performance Conversations


Our World is becoming extremely complex; from generational changes, cost of living pressures and expectations to environmental and technology changes. As Business Leaders we are needing to become aware of these differences and changes that are occurring and embrace, evolve, adapt, be open and empathic when we are dealing with our people, especially when it comes to performance concerns.

Common causes for poor performance can be external pressures such as family, relationships, health; it is easy to attribute failures to ‘stuff going on at home’.  However, there are plenty of internal factors that contribute to performance you should consider also such as engagement, understanding of how their role contributes to organisational success, feeling undervalued or conflict within the workplace.

When someone is under-performing, it has a flow on effect where it impacts the business through productivity, engagement, morale, retention, culture and levels of service. If you do not address these concerns, you are allowing this behaviour to happen! 

When you’re confident that they are not performing to your expectations, review how you are going to approach this team member, ascertain the type of concerns and put an action plan in place. 

During your catch up:

  • Check in to see how they are doing

  • Clearly communicate your concerns

  • Question, actively listen and find out why they are under performing 

  • Set objectives that are achievable and enables them to progress

  • Offer additional training or support if required

  • Get agreement from them and ensure they understand the impact of their performance

  • Organise how and when you will follow up 

Following the catch up, create a File Note documenting the meeting with the objectives you discussed and how you are going to follow up. 

The intention with any performance concern is to communicate with your team member, set goals and provide support – this includes external support from providers such as EAP and Budgeting Advice etc. Some great resources are available to you to provide to your team depending on the circumstances, however check out these sites and for some helpful resources.

If you’ve got a performance concern that you would like to discuss with us, give us a call 09 299 2525. 

Aimee Lander