Common questions about meeting with staff

You may have a number of questions about meeting with a member of staff to discuss performance issues. Here are the answers to some common questions.

How do I approach a meeting about under performance?

When you meet with a member of staff to discuss under performance you need to agree what the issues are and what needs to change, what needs to be put in place to help them do this and what action each of you will take. You should agree further meetings to review progress and confirm the discussion and actions in writing.

More information on preparing for these meetings and what to do if there is no improvement can be found on the previous page.

Who should attend meetings about under performance?

As far as possible, these meetings should be between you and your member of staff, particularly as most performance issues will be raised initially in your regular meetings.

However, your member of staff may ask if they can bring along their trade union representative or a work place colleague. This is absolutely fine and in many cases very helpful, and you may then prefer to also invite your local HR Manager/Officer for support.

This also works the other way in that, if you wish to invite your local HR Manager/Officer, you should allow the member of staff to bring someone with them.

It is worth considering that when you have 'external' parties at these meetings they can make the whole process feel more formal than it actually is and this may affect the outcome. It should always be made very clear to the individual regardless of who attends that the meeting is still informal.

If you need any help or support in how to deal with these types of meeting, your local HR Manager/Officer will be more than happy to help.

What might happen as a result of these meetings?

Raising performance issues with a member of staff can be a very difficult thing to do and people will react in quite different ways to being told their performance is not at the required level.

Many will immediately take on board the feedback you give them and you will very quickly see the necessary improvement.

A minority will not and may get emotional, shout, cry or become aggressive. They may even leave the meeting. It is possible they may accuse you of bullying and in some extreme cases may raise a grievance against you. Another possibility is that they go off sick citing workplace stress.

The key thing to remember is that regardless of the reaction it should not stop you dealing with the issues. It may be that you adjourn and reorganise a meeting or that you have to deal with a grievance or sickness case before being able to progress. It is important to remember that managing performance effectively is not bullying.

Although continuing to manage the under performance may be difficult the worst thing you can do is use these as a reason for not pursuing the performance issue. It is likely it will just become more difficult. Your local HR Manager/Officer will always be available to help and support you as much as they can.