Performance management

Performance manage an employee to address conflict in the workplace, poor performance or unacceptable behaviour.

See the CaPE case categorisation framework. Use the framework to determine if management action is appropriate. Do not take management action if an employee’s poor conduct or performance involves:

  • harassment (sexual or otherwise)
  • workplace bullying or misconduct
  • criminal behaviour
  • wilful, reckless or malicious behaviour
  • significant risk to workplace health and safety
  • significant impact on the workplace or another person.

If the employee has previously completed management action, consider addressing the matter through an employee disciplinary process. Speak to your HR team if you’re not sure.

Choose the management action or a combination of management actions that best considers the employee’s communication preference, the issue, and the seriousness of the matter.

Provide regular and constructive feedback (conduct or performance)

Help the employee self-correct their poor conduct or performance. Keep a copy of your feedback discussions. Include topics discussed, support options to help them improve and agreed outcomes. Email a summary to the employee to give them a chance to comment.

See Positive management practices for more.

Increase supervision (conduct or performance)

Monitor the workplace and the employee. Identify issues early and put strategies in place to assist as issues arise. Help the employee self-correct.

Temporarily restrict some duties (conduct or performance)

Restrict or remove some duties for the employee that may help them improve their performance or conduct. Do this until you’re satisfied that they can perform their duties to an adequate level. If you decide on this management action, you should provide training to help your employee achieve the required standard.

Consider training opportunities (performance)

Training could be:

  • online
  • classroom training
  • workplace shadowing
  • workshops, webinars, lectures or presentations
  • reading articles, journals and case studies.

See Career development activities for more.

Organise mentoring or buddying (performance)

Have a more experienced or skilled employee mentor or buddy the poor performing employee. Introduce a plan for improvement and set a clear timeframe for success.

Performance improvement plan (performance)

If initial discussions and support interventions do not help your employee improve their performance, introduce a performance improvement plan (PIP).

Facilitated discussion (conduct matters)

Facilitate a discussion between the individuals in conflict. Help them understand each other’s view and reach an agreement on moving forward. Prepare for the discussion by understanding the:

  • point of view of each participant in the conversation
  • outcome each participant hopes to achieve from the conversation
  • outcome you can support in the workplace.

Provide ongoing coaching and support to help the employees self-manage their conflict.

Mediation (conduct matters)

Arrange an unbiased, third-party mediator to conduct a mediation session with the individuals in conflict. Establish a workplace relationship that is amicable and productive and provides an agreed set of behaviours for each employee as a performance standard moving forward.