Managing Underperformance: keep wellbeing front of mind
Performance management can be stressful and result in mental ill-health for employees, and particularly so if the person is already struggling with their mental or emotional wellbeing.
Setting clear expectations, giving specific feedback, and having honest and regular conversations with employees often eliminates the need for performance management in the first place. When you do notice someone is underperforming, check in with them and seek to understand what’s really going on. There may be personal or health reasons that can be handled more appropriately, without causing further harm.
If an employee discloses a mental health issue, performance management may be not be appropriate as it can exacerbate their stress and performance issues. You must weigh up the risks of engaging in performance management. If you become aware that your employee is experiencing mental ill-health, you should handle the problem with care and encourage them to access your Employee Assistance Program.
When you do implement a performance management process, incorporating a Wellness Check can help. AWS Wellness Checks address any concerns you may have for the psychological welfare of your people, offering support and strategies to assist. Our counsellors will contact your staff member by phone and check in on their wellbeing while also assessing any risk of potential harm to themselves of others. Any actions required to ensure their immediate safety are taken and may include contacting emergency services or referring the employee to external organisations for specialist assistance.
One of Access Wellbeing clients, a large, aged care and disability provider, recently did this and achieved positive outcomes. Their HR department implemented a new guideline where any staff member involved in performance management automatically received a Wellness Check. The feedback from staff was that they felt grateful for the support, and it made the process feel less daunting and more inclusive.
We all want our people and organisations to perform at their best. Understanding the connection between wellbeing and performance, and being mindful of how we address these issues, can go a long way toward achieving the thriving world of work we seek.
For more information on our Employee Assistance Program, Wellness Checks, or to make a counselling appointment, contact us today.