Performance Issues - Capability/ Managing Underperformance
Capability relates to matters of work performance (not misconduct). This procedure allows for informal and formal intervention to correct the situation. Some useful resources are available below:
- Capability Procedure for Staff Grades 1 - 5
- Capability Procedure for Staff Grades 6, Ac1 and Above
- Capability Procedure Flowchart Grades 1-5
- Capability Procedure Flowchart Grade 6, Ac1 and Above
- Capability vs Conduct Flowchart
The Statute Regulation governing the Removal from Non-Substantive Academic posts is accessed here.
Understanding the difference between capability and conduct
As the University has both disciplinary and capability procedures, it is important to be able to understand which procedure would apply.Capability vs Conduct Flowchart
When dealing with issues of conduct the Disciplinary Regulation for Grades 1-5 or the Disciplinary Regulation for Grade 6, Ac1 and Above should be used. This is because there is a presumption that the conduct is mostly in the control of the employee, and that with some support they should be able to improve this.
In relation to capability, we have two separate procedures i.e. the Sickness Absence Procedure and the Capability Procedure for Staff Grades 6, Ac1 and Above or the Capability Procedure for Staff Grades 1 - 5. As these latter two procedures deal with capability there is more of a presumption that the issue may be outside the employee’s full control, and as such both procedures emphasise the need to consider various options/support.
Performance may also be negatively impacted if an employee has a concern, problem or complaint to do with their work or a person they work with, so it is important that these are addressed fairly and promptly and where possible, informally via the Grievance Procedure. It is also important to identify the issue as this determines which procedure should be used, however, as this is not always clear cut, if you are uncertain, advice should be sought from Human Resources.
What is underperformance?
Underperformance is a failure to perform the duties of the role or where the level of performance achieved by an employee is below the standard of performance required within the role. This may be in terms of skill, aptitude and/or application.
What are the possible causes of underperformance
When considering how to manage people, it is important to first identify the underlying causes of underperformance. Consider the following questions:
- Have you made your expectations clear?
- Has the employee had sufficient training to carry out the work requirement?
- Is the workload too high?
- Does the employee have personal outside influences restricting them from performing the role?
- Is there ineffective or limited communication between the person and staff structure/people/colleagues/clients in order to perform the role effectively?
Once you have considered the above, you can set out a plan for improvement.
What is the purpose of managing underperformance?
The purpose of managing underperformance it to ensure that employees achieve and maintain the level of work performance expected of them and to provide a fair and consistent mechanism for dealing with those employees who are unable to achieve a satisfactory level of work performance.
What is the difference between managing underperformance and the disciplinary procedure?
The aim of managing underperformance is to deal with matters relating to unsatisfactory performance, whereas the disciplinary procedure exists to manage matters considered to be misconduct.Capability vs Conduct Flowchart
What responsibility do employees have in respect of their performance?
Employees should be able to achieve and maintain a satisfactory level of performance, but may from time to time need to be given appropriate training and development opportunities as well as support and encouragement to reach the required standard. If you are not clear as to what you are expected to do or achieve you should raise your concerns with your manager.
What responsibility do line managers have in respect of managing performance?
Line Managers will be expected to manage the performance of their employees, tackling performance issues as soon as they become obvious and where there is a shortfall, address this in a supportive way. Regular formal or informal discussions, including the annual Performance Review, will help clarify expectations, identify any problem areas and allow action to be taken promptly.