Managing Poor Performance wpl w o r k p l a c e l a w q l d Checklist It may be useful to use this checklist in order to successfully handle cases of poor performance or misconduct. Clear job specification/ instructions Ensure that the employee has a copy of their current job description, and that they understand the standards of work performance that are expected of them. Have clearly defined targets as part of that description. Adequate training Ensure that the employee has received appropriate training and assistance to perform the duties set out in their job description. No surprises Any significant concerns about work performance should be drawn to the employee’s attention at the time the concerns arise, rather than waiting until formal appraisal time. Investigate It is important to investigate reports of misconduct and/ or poor performance to establish the truth and scope of each allegation and the resulting action that may need to be taken in response (counselling without formal warning, formal written warning, dismissal etc). It is also important to avoid acting on unsubstantiated rumour or gossip, as raising these matters in a formal counselling format may be interpreted as constituting bullying or harassment. Counselling Before • Assess the situation. Establish in what way the person’s performance does not meet the required standard. Identify the duties to the performed and the standards against which performance is to be measured, e.g. timelines, quantity of output, standard of written work, etc. Ensure that these standards are applied equitably across the workplace. Gather factual information to support the assessment, including specific examples if possible. • Determine, to the extent possible, whether there are factors outside the workplace that may be causing/ contributing to the problem. • Consider the most appropriate approach to discussing the identified matters. Think of some open-ended questions that will encourage the employee to discuss the problems. • Arrange a venue suitable for the counselling discussions, bearing in mind the need for confidentiality. • Notify the employee of the counselling arrangements, giving them sufficient time to prepare for the discussion, including, where possible, sufficient time to arrange for a support person to be present. Depending on circumstances, provide the employee with copies of any relevant written material intended to be discussed. During Explain the reason for the counselling. • Does the employee know what is expected of them with regard to work performance and/or behaviour? Ensure that it is identified for the employee exactly how and why their performance or conduct is below the standard expected. • Explore the possible relevance of factors outside the workplace. Bear in mind that the employee may, for a variety of reasons, choose not to disclose such factors, in which case assessments can only be based on available evidence. Encourage disclosure of outside factors if it will assist in achieving a positive outcome. • Advise the employee what (if any) records are to be kept, and for what purpose the records will be used. • Discuss possible solutions. Brisbane Level 10, 410 Queen Street Brisbane QLD 4000 | GPO Box 3246 Brisbane QLD 4001 | Australia T 61 7 3226 9099 F 61 7 3220 1300 E email@example.com W www.mslawyers.com.au aml australianmigrationlawyers Gold Coast Corporate Centre One Cnr Bundall Road & Slatyer Avenue Bundall QLD 4217 | GPO Box 9073 GCMC QLD 9726 T 61 7 5597 8888 F 61 7 5597 8899 E firstname.lastname@example.org W www.mslawyers.com.au Managing Poor Performance wpl w o r k p l a c e l a w q l d During the discussion, remember to: • Focus on work-related issues; • Be constructive and look to the future and means of improvement; • Communicate: • Listen actively. • Summarise/ repeat briefly the salient points of the discussion. This reinforces and confirms joint understanding of the issues and the corrective action agreed upon. • Ask open questions that invite the employee to address the issues rather than provide “yes” or “no” answers. • Agree on a plan of action. • Agree on a timetable for implementing that action and reviewing the results After • Make a record of the counselling session. If the record is more substantial than a diary note, include any action agreed upon and time frames. • Invite the employee to sign the record if they agree with the content or to make comments or submit their own version of the meeting if they do not. Keep the record in a secure place. • Follow up on any action that has been agreed upon, including monitoring and reviewing action to which the employee has agreed. For further information contact Stephen Hughes or Vicky Leary on: p (07) 5597 8888 (Gold Coast) (07) 3220 1333 (Brisbane) f (07) 3220 1300 e email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org w www.mslawyers.com.au Disclaimer: The contents of this fact sheet do not constitute legal advice and are provided for the purpose of guidance and understanding as to when legal advice may be required. The information supplied presumes the applicability of the Workplace Relations Act and the federal scheme of industrial relations. Whilst the information is correct as at the date of drafting, it will be subject to change without notice due to legislative amendments and judicial rulings. Further, the applicability of the provided information will depend on each individual fact scenario.
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