Documenting Poor Performance

It can be unfortunate to know that an employee may not be performing well. But you don’t want to ambush that said employee stating that they’re underperforming. As a team leader or manager, you should ensure that you break the news professionally and that you have evidence to back up their poor performance. Here are the steps to documenting their performance at work.

Step 1: Provide Facts

The first step to documenting poor performance is to provide facts. You don’t have to present numerical data if you’re not inclined with numbers. What you can do here is ask other employees or show them specific instances of how they couldn’t fulfill certain tasks or goals.

For example, if you’re using a project management software, you can show them some missed deadlines or look at comments from other employees regarding how the employee was able to fulfill tasks.

Plus, when you’re providing facts, you know what caused several performance issues. If it’s a personal issue, give them some leeway since you don’t want to stress them out more. However, if it’s a workplace-related issue, figure out how to resolve this before other employees fall victim to poor performance.

Step 2: Record performance

When recording performance, it doesn’t mean to literally record them secretly through video or audio. You can take note of how they perform certain tasks, how well they get along with other team members, and how their tasks are fulfilled to meet some goals. It’s to give them an idea of what they might need to improve on and how they can be a better employee in the future.

Step 3: Describe performance in detail

If you have enough evidence of their poor performance, you can further describe how they’re faring in your company. Write all of your notes and observations on a document. Make sure it states what the issue was, why it happened, and how that employee could have done better. This will serve as the document that you can present to the employee once you meet with them.

Step 4: Identify and present consequences

The employee may not yet realize that their performance could affect the team or company’s standing. You can remind them of what happens if they can’t reach goals or expectations. Or they may not be improving at work. 

Also, just because they performed poorly for a certain task or goal doesn’t mean they should be fired instantly. Some “consequences” they may incur are warnings or probations.

Once you have determined what they need to develop or enhance at work, notify them of possible consequences that may arise if their performance isn’t still up to standard.

Step 5: Meet in person and get a signature

Once you have everything finalized to show to your employee, setting up a meeting will help you discuss the shortcomings and issues that the employee faces. Make sure that you provide constructive criticism. But this meeting shouldn’t be a one-way street. Allow them to speak up and provide feedback.

This way, they know they’re heard, and at the same time, you’re voicing out your concerns for a particular employee.

Plus, you want to ensure that it happened. After a few months, discuss their performance once again and evaluate if they’re doing better.

Aside from setting up the meeting, you need to have a document signed that you discussed their performance at work and have them sign it after the meeting. It’s useful to monitor their progress. And if they’re not up to par just yet, you can remind them of the possible consequences down the line.