So what do we know about under-performing employees? They are sometimes obvious like in the picture above and they are often not obvious, where others may be carrying them. Either way, it’s extremely risky to have someone not pulling their weight in the business, as it can cause unrest amongst your good employees as well as mean that service standards and clients expectations may not get met.
Why do we avoid dealing with employees that are under-performing?
Very often it’s because we don’t want to have confrontation and you’re worried about the fall out. It could also be because you don’t know how to deal with the issue, what you’re permitted to say as well as how you can support them to improve.
Here are a few helpful tips to help you improve the situation and hopefully resolve it:
it’s always tempting to rule with an iron rod and reprimand them, but one of the best ways to deal with the issue to be completely honest, explaining to them what has been happening and what needs to be improved straight away. Be empathetic in the conversation and remember that as leaders you are to nurture an environment of learning and growth not one of fear.
If you’re honest, it will help the employees to understand and be accountable for the issue. Being too direct or too soft about it can have the opposite affect. Try presenting the issue and giving them a supportive answer or a way forward.
if this is the first time you are dealing with the issue then it is more than likely going to be an informal meeting. There is no need to give advance warning. But it’s important that you explain to them at the beginning of the meeting, that it is just that, informal and you are going to record the conversation in case you need to refer to it at a later date.
Then, listen the help them to take responsibility and give supportive actions. Writing actions down on paper, your laptop, on a whiteboard etc are all visual aids to help make the conversation flow better and for association.
Give quick feedback
Once you’ve identified a problem with the under-performer, giving feedback immediately is more effective. Once you give them actions to undertake in order to improve, give them feedback regularly on how their performing. This could mean weekly or daily informal 1:2:1 meetings.
Issues in the recruitment process: potential under-performance issues
You may have identified issues in the individuals abilities on an application form or from interview. If it’s addressed at that point, it is easier to plan and support, but also the employee is under no illusion about how you will be dealing with this issue. Also, if their is an issue in the employee’s engagement, perhaps something fell down in the recruitment process, then this could also impact on the individuals ability to perform in the role. The employee may feel they are not a clear fit for the role they are assigned in the organisation, or they were not properly inducted into the structure and processes within the role; then almost instant disengagement can occur leading to clear performance issues.
If you trace back to the onboarding (recruitment and appointment) process, it is the most common culprit of under performance.
There are more ways to successfully tackle under-performing employee issues, please contact me, Tania De Bruler, Tel: 01905 317537 and Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.