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3.2.1 Under-Performance Defined

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3.2.1 Under-Performance Defined

Underperformance of the Operational Plan

In terms of your operational plan, under-performance occurs when you are unable to successfully achieve the operational objectives that have been set. In particular, under-performance of your operational plan manifests in the failure to:

Underperformance of Employees

Your employees’ performance is closely related to the performance of your plan. According to the Fair Work Ombudsman, under-performance or poor performance, is exhibited in the following ways: 

Although closely related, underperformance and misconduct are not the same. Misconduct refers to serious misbehaviour of employees (e.g. theft, assault). These behaviours may warrant instant dismissal, so it is best to seek proper advice before taking definitive action should they occur. 

Documenting Performance

Although it seems simple enough, documenting performance proves to be a difficult task. You may sometimes be tempted to simply base your record on a single memorable incident which you associate with your employees or on the most recent interactions you have had with them. However, documenting performance is a serious undertaking that you must devote time and effort to – no matter how tempting it may be to simply rely on your memory. Here are steps to keep in mind so that you may effectively do so:

1. Be Specific

Being specific means properly labelling your entries with pertinent details (i.e. date, time) and being as detailed as possible in your records. For instance, instead of saying that your employee was absent three times, note the three dates for each instance as well as the reasons that were given for these absences. In documenting performance for your operational plan, you must be especially detail-oriented. Your assessment of the relative progress and success of your plan would be heavily reliant on the quality of your records.

2. Focus on observations

For any record, it is important to stick to the facts and leave out any assumptions that are unwarranted. In terms of your plan, this means avoiding rumours and petty drama that may be circulating during its execution as well as personal rants about the plan. For employees, this means you should avoid writing about irrelevant details on the employee’s personal life, theories you’ve made in an attempt to explain their behaviours, and unwarranted opinions regarding your employee.

3. Include both positive and negative points

In the spirit of fairness, you must remember to record the good and the bad points. For your plan, this means that you should highlight both the failures and achievements you have encountered throughout its execution. For employees, this means noting both good and bad behaviours they have displayed. This would include their positive contributions to the team, the project standards and deadlines they met and failed to meet, their instances of tardiness and absences, your personal interactions with them. 

4. Track and note trends

In your process of writing, you may begin to see patterns of recurring behaviour in your employees as well as results or relationships between or among certain elements of your plan. Note these by flagging or highlight them and then discuss them later on as necessary.

5. Be Concise

Although you ought to be specific and detailed in your logs, don’t write lengthily and unnecessarily. Remember to focus on making the most crucial points and add details only as necessary, leaving out the comments that may not have any merit.

6. Avoid Bias

It is important to check your use of language and ensure that you are not showing bias towards or against the employees whose performance you are assessing, or anyone involved in your operational plan. This is especially significant when you find that you are unintentionally being prejudiced against them. Avoid bias at all costs.