If your employer believes you are under-performing at work, you may be subject to a Performance Procedure or Performance Improvement Plan. Although such plans are supposed to assist you to improve your performance, they are often undertaken as part of a disciplinary exercise which leaves you, as the employee, anxious about your job security.
Any disciplinary process can be daunting, but being subject to performance management procedures can make you feel you have lost before you have even started. If you have been invited to a capability or performance management meeting, you need clear advice to make sure you know where you stand.
1. Prepare Yourself
If you are invited to a performance management meeting get a copy of your job description, any procedure your employer is using, any appraisals or supervision notes, any positive feedback from colleagues or customers, in fact anything you can use to dispute your employer’s criticisms. If you have any concerns about the person reviewing your performance, raise them straightaway.
2. Make Your Employer Be Specific
Employers like to be vague when they suggest you are not performing. However, if you are genuinely failing to meet the requirements of your job description, they should be able to tell you how and why. Ask for specific examples, ask what you should have done and make sure you know what (if any) improvement is needed.
3. Performance Review Period
Once your employer has explained the problems, they should give you the opportunity to improve. Make sure you know exactly what is expected. If you don’t consider their targets or expectations to be reasonable, you should say so and suggest your own objectives going forward. You should ensure that any concerns you have about future targets are recorded in the minutes of your meetings. Also, ask for any additional training or assistance you might need.
4. Prepare Yourself Again!
Make sure you go to your Performance Review Meeting fully prepared. Gather your evidence of the work you have done since your first meeting. If you were not given the training you asked for, take along the evidence of your requests. If you haven’t been able to meet targets, explain why and make sure you take your evidence.
Let Lincs Law Employment Solicitors help
For most employees, these procedures will come to an end after the first review meeting. However, for others, the process might be used by their employers to try and pressure them into resigning, a Settlement Agreement or fast track them towards a dismissal. Depending upon the criticisms, it might even be discriminatory (for example, criticising the performance of a disabled member of staff without considering reasonable adjustments).
If you are going through a Performance Procedure or are worried your employer intends to dismiss you for a capability reason, you need specialist legal advice. For a free, no obligation discussion call us on 01522 440512 or use our contact information.