Introduction to this document

Confirmation of performance improvement measures

Use our letter where, following a performance review meeting, you’ve agreed to put in place measures to assist the employee to improve their poor performance, rather than issuing them with a formal warning.

No formal warning

Whilst the outcome of most performance review meetings held under the terms of your capability procedure will result in the imposition of a formal performance warning, occasionally you may alternatively agree with the employee to put in place support measures to assist them to improve their performance. This might be the case where you accept there are extenuating circumstances to explain the employee’s poor performance or you acknowledge that their poor performance may not be entirely down to their lack of capability such that a warning wouldn’t be a reasonable penalty in the circumstances, e.g. they’ve had insufficient training or support, the performance standards required hadn’t been made clear to them, they don’t have the proper equipment to effectively do their job or they have an overly large workload. In this case, the employee should still receive confirmation of the outcome of the meeting to let them know how they still need to improve their performance and how you’re now going to assist them in doing this, and to formally conclude the capability procedure, and so this is the purpose of our Confirmation of Performance Improvement Measures letter. It imposes no formal sanction on the employee following the performance review meeting but does set out the next steps.

Next steps

Our letter explains the nature of the employee’s poor performance and what improvements they’ve agreed at the meeting to strive to achieve - do make sure that any targets set are realistic and achievable. For your part, it sets out what support measures you’ll put in place to assist them. This could be internal/external training, the appointment of a mentor, additional supervision, a reduction in their workload, the provision of new equipment, or any other suitable support measure. We’ve also enabled you to say why you reached the decision to adopt this informal approach following the meeting, rather than issuing a formal warning. Finally, our letter provides a time frame for the employee to demonstrate improved performance - three to six months should be adequate here. During this period, you should hold regular informal review meetings with the employee, say fortnightly or monthly, to ensure they’ve still got the support they need and to discuss their progress on an ongoing basis. However, our letter does go on to warn them that a failure to improve to the required standards within the time frame you’ve set is likely to lead to performance management action again being taken and the consequences of that could be a formal warning.

Informal reviews

Your informal reviews should follow the same basic format as the performance review meeting, discussing the extent to which the employee has improved, where they’re still falling short of the required performance standards and the support measures available. However, theses reviews won’t be as formal as a performance review meeting and there are no requirements to comply with in relation to arranging them.