Every employee that works for your business is expected to be capable of doing the job which you have employed them for; otherwise you wouldn’t have employed them. However, every employee is also required to do the job that you have employed them for and just because they are capable at doing the job it doesn’t mean that they offer a good level of performance in their role.

So, as we asked earlier, is capability enough? Is it enough that they are capable at doing their job? Of course not; as much as capability and actual performance should go hand in hand, this is very often not the case. But how do you deal with this in your business?

If you notice that an employee’s performance has dipped then this needs to be dealt with, you and your employee need to work together to see why they are not working to the expected standard. The employee may need extra training or support and that needs to be available to them if required. When dealing with poor performance, communication is the key so make sure the employee knows you are trying to help them.

It is recommended that you have a capability procedure in place, this can be as part of your company’s disciplinary procedure or as a separate document but within the capability procedure it needs to set out what you, as an employer, will do if your employee is under-performing. A capability procedure is not essential within a business, but it will certainly help to ensure that all employees are clear about the process if under-performance does occur so we would highly recommend that you have a capability procedure in place, so you are prepared.

Within the capability procedure you should include timings, for example the date in which the first conversation took place, the outcome of the conversation in regards to under-performance, set clear objectives or targets so the employee understands what they needs to do to improve their performance and the date when their performance will be reviewed again, for example 2 weeks from the first meeting.

You will also need to include the next steps and any further action that may be taken if improvements have not been made. Following a capability process with an employee can be time consuming for any line manager as you will need to monitor work output, determine if objectives or targets have been met, provide support in forms either on the job training, formal training, reasonable adjustments etc.

If all the time, training and additional support does not improve the employee’s performance levels this could lead to a formal capability procedure being followed including written warning, demotion or even dismissal.

As you can see by this blog post, having a capability procedure in place is an extremely good idea. If you would like help putting a capability procedure into your place of work or require advice about a current poor performer in your business please contact aspire cambridge’s HR team who will be only too happy to help.