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1.1 Explain typical organisational policies and procedures on discipline, grievance and dealing with underperformance

Unit 7: Manage Individuals’ Performance

Unit reference number: J/506/1921 QCF level: 3

Credit value: 4

Guided learning hours: 20

Unit type: Competence

This unit covers the concept of managing individuals that are underperforming.

Unit summary

In this unit, you will learn how to manage underperformance in the workplace. When issues concerning underperformance are not addressed and managed, both appropriately and sensitively, it can lead to unhealthy and unproductive outcomes that may affect the entire workplace. The first answerable learning outcome is 1.1 Explain typical organisational policies and procedures on discipline, grievance and dealing with underperformance

You will look at how establishing effective performance management systems can have significant benefits for the business and how this can lead to happier, more motivated and better performing employees. You will learn how to manage individuals’ performances in the workplace to maintain morale and use best practice to ensure that all staff are performing at their best.

Learning outcomes and assessment criteria

To pass this unit, the learner needs to demonstrate that they can meet all the learning outcomes for the unit. The assessment criteria outline the requirements the learner is expected to meet to achieve the Unit 7: Manage Individuals’ Performance 

Learning outcomes                                      Assessment criteria

1 Understand the management of underperformance in the workplace

1.1 Explain typical organisational policies and procedures on discipline, grievance and dealing with underperformance

1.2 Explain how to identify causes of underperformance

1.3 Explain the purpose of making individuals aware of their underperformance clearly but sensitively

1.4 Explain how to address issues that hamper individuals` performance

1.5 Explain how to agree a course of action to address underperformance

2 Be able to manage individuals` performance in the workplace

2.1 Agree with team members specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound (SMART) objectives that align to organisational objectives

2.2 Delegate responsibility to individuals on the basis of their expertise, competence, skills, knowledge, and development needs

2.3 Apply motivation techniques to maintain morale

2.4 Provide information, resources and on-going mentoring to help individuals meet their targets, objectives and quality standards

2.5 Monitor individuals’ progress towards objectives in accordance with agreed plans

2.6 Recognise individuals` achievement of targets and quality standards

2.7 Adhere to organisational policies and procedures, and legal and ethical requirements when managing individuals’ performance in the workplace

Unit amplification

AC1.1: Explain typical organisational policies and procedures on discipline, grievance and dealing with underperformance

  • Disciplinary policy: definition; policy content e.g. timekeeping, absence, health and safety, use of organisational facilities and equipment; Equality Act (2010); policy access
  • Disciplinary procedure: purpose, e.g. deals with discipline issues and underperformance; ensures rules and standards are maintained; format, i.e. ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures; mediation
  • Grievances: definition; causes e.g. bullying and harassment, discrimination, new working practices, organisational change
  • Grievance procedure: definition; purpose; format i.e. ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
  • Underperformance: types e.g. failure to perform the duties of the job role; failure to perform to the required standard; poor productivity; disruptive or negative behaviour; high rate of absence
  • Causes: e.g. employee lack of clarity of expectations; lack of knowledge/skills; goals/standards/policies and consequences unclear; interpersonal differences; poor personal motivation; inappropriate or insufficient training; low morale in the workplace
  • Purpose: e.g. highlights where and why performance was not in line with expectations; explores how performance may be improved; positive way of improving future performance; provides positive reinforcement
  • Handling underperformance sensitively: e.g. use communication styles based on people and situations; understanding individuals’ needs, feelings and motivations; taking account of cultural differences; individuals treated with respect
  • Addressing issues: clear systems in place to identify problems; assessing the gravity of problems; support and coaching; mentoring; constructive feedback; use of disciplinary procedures
  • Addressing underperformance: possible interventions/actions, e.g. enhance ability (resupply, retrain, refit, reassign, release); improve motivation (performance goals, performance feedback, Performance Improvement Plan)
  • Agreeing course of action: methods, e.g. meeting with employee and union representative/person of their choice; open discussion with employee; joint solution devised; plan of action drawn up; follow-up meeting; agreeing SMART objectives; progress reviews Unit 7: Manage Individuals’ Performance

AC1.2: Explain how to identify causes of underperformance

AC1.3: Explain the purpose of making individuals aware of their underperformance clearly but sensitively

AC1.4: Explain how to address issues that hamper individuals’ performance

AC1.5: Explain how to agree a course of action to address underperformance

Information for tutors

Suggested resources

Armstrong M and Baron A – Managing Performance: Performance Management in Action (Developing Practice), 2nd edition (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2004) ISBN 9781843981015

Hutchinson S – Performance Management: Theory and Practice (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 2013) ISBN 9781843983057

Lloyd K – Performance Appraisals and Phrases For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, 2009) ISBN 9780470498729 Unit 7: Manage Individuals’ Performance


www.acas.org.uk – ACAS, provides free advice on workplace-related issues. These recommended publications can be found on the website:

  • How to manage performance (advisory booklet)
  • ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures
  • Discipline and Grievances at Work – The ACAS Guide

www.cipd.co.uk – the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has a variety of free factsheets available on their website on performance management. A recommended publication is Performance Management: an overview

Assessment: Unit 7: Manage Individuals’ Performance

This unit is internally assessed. To pass this unit the evidence that the learner presents for assessment must demonstrate that they have met the required standard specified in the learning outcomes and assessment criteria and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy.

To ensure that the assessment tasks and activities enable learners to produce valid, sufficient, authentic and appropriate evidence that meets the assessment criteria, centres should apply the Unit Assessment guidance and the requirements of the Assessment Strategy below.

Wherever possible, centres should adopt a holistic approach to assessing the units in the qualification. This gives the assessment process greater rigour and minimises repetition, time and the burden of assessment on all parties involved in the process.

Unit assessment requirements

This unit must be assessed in the workplace in accordance with Skills CFA Business Administration, Customer Service and Management and Leadership Assessment Strategy in Annexe A. Simulation is not allowed for this unit. All evidence of occupational competence should be generated through performance under workplace conditions; this includes evidence of achievement for knowledge-based learning outcomes and associated assessment criteria

Unit assessment guidance

This guidance supports assessors in making decisions about how best to assess each unit and the evidence needed to meet the assessment requirements of the unit. Centres can adapt the guidance for learners and the particular assessment context, as appropriate.

There are opportunities to assess this unit holistically with the following units:

Manage Individual Development in the Workplace and Principles of People Management (learning outcome 5).

Evidence to demonstrate achievement of learning outcome 2 is likely to come from a combination of direct observation, review of the learner’s work products, witness testimony and professional discussion or reflective account. Where possible, and with the appropriate permissions, the learner could be observed in team/departmental meetings, one-to-one meetings, interim performance reviews, appraisal meetings and other relevant contexts.

Evidence from any direct observation of the learner should be supported by a professional discussion around the learner’s performance and work products, to provide further evidence for the assessment criteria. The learner’s work products could include minutes from team meetings, anonymised personal development plans, performance reviews, performance plans, appraisal reports and one-to-one meeting notes, and relevant communications to colleagues (for example an email giving advice on a work issue/problem). The work products should be reviewed by the assessor and used to support the professional discussion to evidence the knowledge and understanding underpinning the learner’s performance. Within the professional discussion, the learner could explain the rationale for delegating particular tasks to specific individuals, the basis for the agreed SMART objectives and the rationale for their choice of motivation techniques and recognition of achievement (AC2.1, AC2.2, AC2.3 and AC2.6). The discussion could also cover the organisational, ethical and legal requirements associated with performance management (AC2.7). Alternatively, a reflective account could be used in a similar manner to assess the underpinning knowledge and understanding. Witness testimony from colleagues and the line manager should also be used to confirm that the learner has consistently met the requirements over a period of time, as well as met organisational, legal and ethical requirements (AC2.1 and AC2.7). Unit 7: Manage Individuals’ Performance

Evidence to confirm the achievement of learning outcome 1 could be integrated into the professional discussion or reflective account for learning outcome 2, giving the learner the opportunity to link and apply their knowledge to the workplace activities. For example, the relationship between disciplinary and grievance procedures and performance management could be explored. The learner’s responses or statements to meet the requirements of AC1.1 to 1.5 must be in sufficient depth and breadth to meet the level of demand expected from an explanation. For example, the learner’s response on grievance and disciplinary procedures (AC1.5) should go beyond just a statement of the steps/stages and should include reasoning around the relevance of the steps/stages in relation to the purpose of the procedures.

Evidence of Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can also be used within the unit to confirm competence.

Unit 7: Manage Individuals’ Performance

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