Too often managers procrastinate and even avoid managing employee performance because they are unsure how to conduct these conversations or fear the employee’s reaction to these discussions. But this doesn’t have to be the case.
Generally most employees want to do a good job. Employees don’t want to fail or perform unsatisfactorily. But when employees perform poorly, it can be for a variety of reasons and identifying the root cause is the first step to knowing how you should address the problem. Here are a few of the primary reasons employees under-perform.
- The employee doesn’t know what is expected of him/her and therefore fails to meet your expectations.
- The employee has too much work or doesn’t have the proper resources to do the job.
- The employee doesn’t have the skill set he/she needs to do the job and is way over their head.
- Sometimes, it’s personal. Yes, employees have a life outside of work and sometimes these situations interfere with their job.
The manner in which you address the situation should vary depending on the cause of the poor performance. Here are some suggestions that have proven to be successful to many managers:
- When you speak to the employee make sure they understand the value of their work and its importance.
- Explain to them what your expectations are and what it means if they don’t meet these expectations.
- Reinforce what they are doing well in addition to pointing out their weaknesses.
- Offer resources and assistance such as additional training, coaching or mentoring with another employee.
- Let them know you are investing in their development and want them to succeed.
Talking about employee performance is something you should do every day not just when things go wrong. Make time to talk to your employees everyday about their work, their achievements and their questions. Clearly communicate your expectations and the results that are needed. Engaging your employees in a manner in which they feel valued can improve performance in many ways.