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Federal agencies cannot afford employees who are performing their duties less than fully successfully. Governmentwide regulations recommend that agencies provide assistance whenever performance becomes marginally successful. However, unlike the regulations for dealing with employees who are Unacceptable, the regulations do not specify what should be done for marginal performers. Some agencies have formal processes that supervisors must follow for assisting marginal performers. Other agencies use an informal process. This article reviews reasons for addressing marginal performance and provides tips for supervisors who want to help marginal performers improve.
Good supervisors do not allow marginal performance to continue, for these reasons:
Here are a few tips for assisting marginal performers. In addition to following these tips, supervisors should also remember to check with their Human Resources Office to see if their agency has a formal process for addressing marginal performance.
The major reason supervisors give for not dealing with Unacceptable performance is that the required process is too difficult. If supervisors assist employees who are struggling before they reach the Unacceptable level, they can spend their time more effectively by refocusing good performers rather than completing the formal process of removing Unacceptable performers.