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Employee Life Cycle Part 5: Employee Behavior & Performance

Learn from Paychex HR consultant Margie Bassford about how to get the most from your employees and effectively address any behavior or performance issues.

Discover more about the employee life cycle:

Part 1: Paying Employees

Part 2: Proper Employee Documentation

Part 3: Human Rights & Discrimination Laws

Part 4: Paid Time Off

Part 6: Workplace Safety

Part 7: Employee Handbook Policy

Part 8: Employee Discipline & Termination

Part 9: Attracting & Retaining Talent

Part 10: Deepening Employee Engagement


You want 100% from your employees. And hopefully, you've hired individuals who will deliver their best every day. But inevitably, at some point, most employers are challenged with employee behavioral and/or performance issues. Let's take a look at how you can get the most from each of your employees.

From the get go, you and your managers must set clear expectations, communicate, and take an active role alongside your employees to improve performance. Setting clear expectations can really help set the tone when it comes to an employee's performance.

While providing a thorough job description to applicants is useful, employees need to understand precisely what you expect from them once they come on board. Without much by way of direction or guidance, performance issues down the road could be imminent.

And don't assume that employees, both new hires and veterans, know what is expected of them. Writing down these expectations can help both of you.

You may already have some type of annual review process in place at your business, but ongoing employee performance reviews are also important. Set periodic meetings to assess an employee's progress as a way to eliminate having unpleasant conversations down the road.

During these meetings, both you and the employee should be communicating and working together to improve performance issues. Focus first on what the employee is doing right and note any specific progress. Discuss negative aspects in a way that reinforces solutions. Don't forget to keep action items and progress discussed in these meetings in writing. This can include next steps, suggested timelines, and anticipated results stemming from these conversations. This also benefits you as it can serve as your documentation later on if the employee files a wrongful termination or discrimination claim.

Additionally, don't underestimate the effectiveness of providing employee resources. They go hand-in-hand with employee performance. This could take the form of relevant technology, online resources, or access to training, any of which can provide valuable information and enhance skill sets. But remember, it is ultimately the responsibility of the employer or manager to identify and supply these tools.

Thanks for watching. To learn more about more aspects of the employee life cycle, please visit

* This content is for educational purposes only, is not intended to provide specific legal advice, and should not be used as a substitute for the legal advice of a qualified attorney or other professional. The information may not reflect the most current legal developments, may be changed without notice and is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or up-to-date.

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