You’ve tried talking to a worker about poor performance. But all your coaching, prodding and follow-up hasn’t accomplished much. Now’s the time for a one-page “pre-probationary” memo. Explain in positive terms what skills or behavior need improvement. Rather than write, “Your co-workers complain about your shoddy work,” write, “To succeed in your job, you’ll need to raise the bar and make the following changes.” Then spell out the actions you want the employee to take and give a time frame, say 90 days, to shape up.
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