The most common mistakes employers make when managing performance

Managing poor performing employees is often avoided until a situation reaches boiling point. Rather than being seen as a negative aspect of management, approaching performance concerns early and in a consistent manner can help support employees, improve morale and drive business growth. We consider the top mistakes employers make when dealing with performance and how they can be avoided.

Failing to make use of the probationary period

Most employers operate probationary periods for new starters but we regularly see employers just going through the motions and signing off someone’s probationary period without carrying out proper reviews. This is an ideal opportunity to carry out regular reviews to ensure they know what you expect of them, and that you feedback if they are not meeting those expectations. Ultimately, employers need to consider carefully whether an employee is suited to the role if they are unable to demonstrate that they can meet expectations by the end of the probationary period.

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This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.


Employment law moves at a fast pace. Keeping up to date with changes and developments is a challenge for every HR professional, helps you keep ahead of the game, plan for change and provides tools for solving those workplace dilemmas.


Andrew Chamberlain

Partner - Head of Employment & Chair of the SDE

I am a Partner, the National Head of the Employment Team and the Chair of the Service Delivery Executive (SDE), which is focused on building better solutions for clients.