Do you have an employee who is not performing to the standards of their position? If you don’t currently, you likely have in the past and will at some point in the future. Learning to manage, guide, and assess an employee’s performance and it’s impact on your organization can be critical. Maintaining employees who are under performing in their role will have a direct impact on employee morale, productivity, customer satisfaction and ultimately your bottom line.
The first step to managing a poor performer is to identify who that person may be. Chances are if you haven’t heard complaints from others in their department, you will soon. Conducting regular employee performance reviews, spot checking their work, and communicating with your staff in regards to their role are great ways to ensure that you identify someone who is under performing before it becomes a major hardship. Poor performers often are distant from other team members, take longer to accomplish tasks, avoid accountability, and are not goal driven.
The next step is to determine the cause of the poor performance. Reasons for poor performance can range from situational such as those who are struggling personal life issues, health issues, or lack of focus to skills related such as training and development, under qualified for the position, or those with an overbearing workload. Take the time to communicate openly with your employee to help determine the cause for their lack of performance. Sometimes the solution may be as simple as providing additional training on a process or program. Keep in mind the longer you wait to begin communicating with the team member the less likely you are to remedy the situation.
The third step is to create an action plan. After openly discussing the performance issue with your employee and hopefully identifying some of the underlying causes, you need to communicate and employ a very clear plan of action. Provide your employee with clear and concise expectations and goals for their position and performance. Implement a plan that will help them achieve those goals that directly correlates to the cause of their poor performance. Solutions may include job shadowing another employee in the department, retraining on a specific job duty, or attending additional outside training. If the cause of the poor performance is due to non-work related factors you may allow them to use accrued personal time to address these factors or share with them any professional resources that are available through their benefits package. It is highly recommended that you document and both sign off on the proposed plan of action and schedule a time in the near future to discuss their progress.
Finally, you should review and come to a conclusion on their performance status. Meet with your team member to discuss and review what progress, if any they have made since the implementation of your action plan. If you find the employee is progressing at an acceptable rate, than you may consider setting further goals and additional review appointments to continue to monitor their progress. If you find the employee is not making improvements or their performance is regressing even further you may need to consider further options. Further options may include re-assigning the employee to another position within the organization, taking disciplinary action, or even terminating their employment.
Managing poor performers can be a difficult task but it is crucial to supporting employee morale, company productivity, client satisfaction, and providing a profitable service to your organization. You should always consult with your HR department or Labor and Employment Law adviser if you are unsure of your company policies, procedures, or rights when interacting with your staff members.
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