If problem performance is to be managed effectively then, it needs to be clearly identified. This may not be as straightforward as it may at first sound. There are different views about the methods of identifying problem performance and a manager needs to be able to appreciate the differing points of view. Specifically the distinction between conduct and performance is crucial, because the responses to them need to be different. Another facet of the effective management of problem performance lies in identifying the causes of problem performance. There are performance problems that result from the way that the organization operates, which may well make the individual worker unable to perform better, for example in terms of the design of the task they are asked to perform. But there are also performance problems that stem from the workers attitude. In between these two there are performance problems which do not come from a disinterest in performing well, and are not system based issues, but are caused by the workers own ability to perform. Once there is clarity about the nature of the performance problem that the manager encounters then he or she must be able to measure the extent of that problem performance if they are to deal with it effectively. An imprecise definition and description of the problem, leads to a less than useful treatment in many ineffective performance management approaches. The observation of a worker naturally leads into the assessment of the standards of performance of that worker. This process is often put into a formal performance appraisal system and a manager needs to be aware of the qualities of an effective system.
Managers, supervisors, project team leaders and human resource professionals who need to deal with problem performance both informally and formally