Navigating Employee Performance: Strategies for Employers and Consequences for Persistent Poor Performance


Effectively managing poor employee performance is an essential skill for employers, ensuring a productive and harmonious workplace. While the focus is on improvement, it’s crucial for employers to establish clear consequences for persistent poor performance. This article provides a comprehensive guide on managing performance issues, including the necessary steps and potential disciplinary actions.

  • Regularly assess employee performance through clear metrics and objectives.
  • Identify and address issues as soon as they arise.
  • Open a constructive dialogue with the employee to understand their perspective.
  • Clearly communicate performance expectations and goals.
  • Provide written guidelines and benchmarks for success.
  • Ensure employees understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • Conduct regular performance reviews to discuss strengths and areas for improvement.
  • Offer constructive feedback, focusing on specific behaviours and outcomes.
  • Provide additional training or resources to support improvement.
  • Collaboratively create a performance improvement plan outlining clear goals and timelines.
  • Define measurable objectives and milestones for improvement.
  • Regularly review progress and adjust the plan as needed.
  • Maintain detailed records of performance-related discussions and actions.
  • Document specific instances of underperformance, highlighting the impact on the team or organisation.
  • Ensure all communication is professional, factual, and respectful.
  • Foster open communication by encouraging employees to share their thoughts on performance issues.
  • Consider their insights and involve them in the development of improvement strategies.
  • Offer additional training, mentorship, or resources to help employees meet performance expectations.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to the employee’s professional development.

Consequences for Persistent Poor Performance

  1. First Written Warning
  • If there is no improvement after informal attempts to address performance concerns, invite the employee to a disciplinary meeting.
  • Identify specific performance or conduct issues.
  • Hold a private meeting with the employee to discuss concerns.
  • Document the meeting, outlining the nature of the issues, expectations for improvement, and a timeline for the improvement.
  • Clearly communicate the consequences of continued poor performance or conduct.
  • Provide guidance on the steps the employee needs to take to rectify the issues.
  • Schedule a follow-up meeting to monitor progress.
  • Provide additional support or resources to facilitate improvement.
  • issue the First Written Warning, including the details discussed and any additional information.


  1. Final Written Warning
  • If there is no improvement after the First Written Warning, invite the employee to a disciplinary meeting.
  • Reiterate the concerns and the consequences of persistent poor performance.
  • Document the meeting, specifying the ongoing issues, the prior warning, and the steps taken for improvement.
  • Clearly communicate that this is the final written warning before more severe action is taken.
  • Provide a final opportunity for the employee to demonstrate improvement.
  • Establish a strict timeline for improvement.
  • Offer additional support or resources.
  • Issue the Final Written Warning, including details discussed and any additional information.


  1. Dismissal
  • If there is still no improvement after the Final Written Warning, schedule a disciplinary meeting.
  • Reiterate the concerns and the consequences outlined in previous warnings.
  • Documentation:
  • Document the meeting, emphasising the lack of improvement, prior warnings, and the impact on the organisation.
  • Clearly communicate the decision to terminate employment.
  • Provide the employee with written notice of dismissal, stating the reasons and effective date.
  • Address logistical matters such as final pay, return of company property, and any other relevant details.

Throughout the entire process, it is crucial to ensure fairness, transparency, and compliance with applicable employment laws. Providing employees with opportunities for improvement and clear communication about the consequences of continued poor performance is essential and a comprehensive record of the disciplinary process, including warnings, meetings, and the termination notice, should be maintained.

Employers should seek legal advice to ensure the disciplinary process aligns with current regulations.


Effectively managing poor employee performance involves a combination of proactive strategies and clear consequences. By addressing issues early, providing support, and establishing a transparent performance improvement process, employers can create a culture of accountability and continuous improvement in the workplace.  We provide specialist employment law support for employers that ensures they stay on top of all employment legalities in an efficient and affordable manner. Contact us today if you have any questions or book a free consultation through our website.