Focusing on under performance

If a member of your team is under performing it is an important part of your role to manage this.

The aim of managing performance is to ensure that people can achieve their best and play their part in meeting the goals and objectives of the team in a way that is consistent with our values and culture. So managing under performance is about you as a line manager proactively addressing any instances where this is not happening.

Managing under performance is not always easy. However, the effects of not dealing with it can include demotivation of other staff, not achieving your team or Faculty/School/Service objectives or damage to the reputation of your area or the University with key stakeholders such as students, research funding bodies etc. In most cases if under performance is not addressed it becomes more difficult to manage. It is therefore important to deal effectively with any issues as soon as possible.

Under performance can usually be attributed to one of the following:

  • Capability - this is generally when a member of staff can't meet the requirements of a role. Perhaps they don't understand what is expected, or they have not got the skills required. They might also be incapable of fulfilling a role due to ill health.
  • Conduct - this is generally when someone won't do something, for example because they cannot be bothered or don't want to.

It is sometimes hard to determine whether the issue is conduct or capability (and sometimes it can be both) but if you are unsure and want to discuss specific cases in more detail, you can always seek advice from your local HR Manager/Officer.