Managing Performance

Too often, I hear from managers who are at their wits end with a problem employee. Unfortunately they reach out for help at the point of no return. It is important to set expectations early, often and clearly. Meet with your employee on the first day of employment to outline what is important to you in attitude and behaviour.

Continue to meet regularly to calibrate with the employee regarding your expectations. If despite these efforts, your employee misses the mark, at this point, you should be weighing the cost benefit of keeping the employee and investing more time and energy into aligning his behaviour vs. simply cutting your losses and letting the employee go.

If you decide to give it some more time, meet with the employee again and discuss the following:

1. Your expectations (again)
2. How the employee is falling short
3. What are the consequences of continued poor performance
4. What improvements are necessary
5. What is the timeline for the improvements
6. How will the employee go about making the improvements

I like to document the results of this meeting in an email which I ask the employee to respond to as a way to confirm we are on the same page and the message was clearly understood.

If the employee improves, meet and celebrate the improvement and put the past behind you. If the employee doesn’t improve, revisit the cost benefit question.

Shawnee Love

Shawnee Love is the owner and lead consultant of Love HR in West Kelowna, BC. Love HR works with growing businesses to drive business success through people and people practices. Learn more at or email

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