It is the goal of performance management to position employees for success. It is premature to conclude that you have a performance issue until you have taken into account all the factors that may be contributing to a performance problem.
Analyzing Performance Problems
There may be a variety of factors contributing to a performance problem.
1. Organizational and Job Factors
Organizational and job factors outside the employee's control may affect the employee's ability to meet expectations. Some of these include:
poor leadership / role modelling
lack of clarity concerning expectations, context, linkages, roles and responsibilities, authorities, etc.
inadequate tools / support
cumbersome work processes
unrealistic policies and procedures
changes in systems or equipment
work environment ( poor information sharing, harassment, discrimination, insensitivity, etc.)
lack of rewards for effective performance and consequences for poor performance
lack of feedback
lack of influence on how the work gets done
When the cause of the performance problem is related to organizational and job factors outside the employee's control, the manager is responsible for taking action to correct the problem where he/she has authority to do so or to bring the issue to the next level of authority.
2. Individual Factors
Some individual factors that may influence the employee's performance include:
personal circumstances (e.g., marital or family difficulties, financial problems, bereavement, etc.)
physical and/or emotional health problems (e.g. medical issues, substance abuse, depression, anxiety, etc.)
inappropriate personal behaviours
insufficient knowledge/competence to do the job
a mismatch to the job
When you are aware the employee is facing personal circumstances which might affect the employee's ability to meet the performance expectations, it is a best practice to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the employee in the short term. The employee remains responsible for performance. If performance still fails to meet expectations, you should clarify expectations and the consequences of not meeting the objectives.
Poor Performance Versus Misconduct
It is sometimes difficult for managers to distinguish between poor performance and misconduct in all cases.
Unable to do job because of incompetence or incapacity