Dealing With Poor Performers

The employee has done something or failed to do something which adversely affects his/her work, the ability of others to do their work, or the agency's mission. The supervisor is faced with decisions on how to handle the incident or series of incidents. First, he/she must decide whether the incident involves the employee's poor job performance or an act of misconduct or delinquency - normally it is one or the other but in some cases it may be both. Next, he/she must decide what type of management action will best deal with the incident(s).

There are many possible causes for an employee's performance and/or conduct problem, for example, illness, disability, substance abuse, personality conflict, family problems, lack of training, low job morale, etc. The nature of the problem will determine the course of action to be taken. Maybe the employee should be referred to the Employee Assistance Program for drug or alcohol abuse counseling, or a fitness-for-duty medical examination may be needed to determine physical or mental capability to do the job.

If it is misconduct or delinquency, such as tardiness, failure to properly request leave, insubordination, theft, etc., one option is to take disciplinary action. For guidance on administering discipline refer to menu item Employee Management Relations Program - Disciplinary and Adverse Actions.

If the problem is failure to meet one or more of the objectives/responsibilities he/she has established on the DA Form 7222-1 or 7223-1, then appropriate actions would be taken under the Performance Management Program. Initial steps could include performance counseling, training, and/or closer supervision. If performance continues to be unacceptable, then more severe actions could be reassignment, Change to Lower Grade, or removal.

There may be instances where the problems are both performance and conduct. In these cases the supervisor can take action under either program, or both simultaneously.

Content last reviewed: 6/20/2006-FMJ