Ask HR: Poor Performing Employees

Dear HR:

One of my supervisors called me about performance concerns with an employee. Evidently, these concerns have been going on for some time, and I was not informed. Please advise me on how to handle both my employee and supervisor.


HR Answer:

Performance problems typically arise and fester when supervisors allow employee performance issues to accumulate. A supervisor’s responsibility is to effectively guide and re-direct employees to ensure they are meeting expectations. Oregon is an “at-will” employment state: this means that employers are not required to give on-going feedback or use progressive discipline, but we encourage supervisors to do so, as it helps to fix problems as they arise and helps build employee potential. And because it works! When addressing performance issues, we encourage the progressive discipline approach which includes, but is not limited to—counseling sessions coupled with verbal or written warnings (always documented); then suspension; then if appropriate, a demotion; and the final step— termination of the employment relationship.