Performance Manage People

by Paula Newton

When to ask for HR assistance

In extreme cases, if the person continues not to take feedback on board, even after you have used tools such as a 360 degree appraisal, and if their performance and team performance is suffering as a result, you may have to accept that this position just isn’t for them. Now may even be the time to consider either getting some advice or structuring the team a little differently in order to ensure improved performance from everyone in it.

There is only so much talking and reasoning that can be done before a person begins to become a drain upon the time of the team. It can be de-motivating and stressful dealing with difficult people who refuse to see reason or to change. If a person simply will not change after you have made significant efforts to improve their performance, including presenting them with evidence as to why they need to change, plus providing constructive feedback and coaching, then you may have to seek the advice of an HR professional. Disciplinary action may need to be taken in some cases.

It is important, however, not to take disciplinary action with individuals too early in the process. This can appear to be extremely heavy-handed and unfair. Good judgment is critical, and you should try to exhaust other options before taking this approach. Equally, it is important not to let problems drag on and get out of hand to such an extent that they affect the motivation of everyone else in the team.

When approaching HR about a performance management issue, you must have the evidence at your fingertips. It’s essential to record conversations held with the employee and keep reports that contain facts and figures, especially when disciplinary action may be taken.

See Discipline and Grievance for more information.