Friday, March 12, 2010
From my many years of experience in leadership positions, I observed that supervisors and managers had challenging times in dealing with performance issues of employees. Some lost sleep worrying about the “confrontation” because they were unsure of themselves and their abilities to successfully handle the situation. Have you ever felt that way? Well isn’t it nice to know that misery loves company! Haha. Not really! When you are not sure of your next step with that dreaded employee, your confidence level drops significantly and believe me, it shows! You know it and so does your employee.
When dealing with performance issues, I believe first and foremost that your duty is to confront the situation. Never let poor performance go unnoticed. Make it private and make it positive. Performance issues at every level affects the effectiveness of your brand. Here are five steps that will give you the assured confidence you need convey your concerns in a direct and positive way.
State specifically what the problem is. Keep it short and to the point. Don’t beat around the bush.
Wait for a response. Never assume anything. Give your employee an opportunity to explain (“the whole truth and nothing but the truth ...”). You just might learn something that you were not aware of.
Remind them of the goal. What is the performance that is unacceptable and that must be corrected?
Ask for solutions. Allow your employee an opportunity to discover solutions on their own. This creates employee “buy-in”. They are part of the solution and not a part of the problem now.
Agree on an Action Plan. What is the employee expected to do and what are you going to do too!
It doesn’t stop here. You must follow-up with the employee. If not, then the employee will think that you were just playing “boss” and that you really don’t care about them as an individual. You need to “inspect what you expect”.
When you see a change in performance for the good, let the employee know right away and be “specific” but continue to monitor for a certain time period. If there is no change in performance, then again, take the employee aside privately, check your own attitude first, and repeat the previous steps. Sometimes employees leave us with no option and hence they end up firing themselves.
Guest Blogger: Rick Nicholls from Nicholls Training Group blog
Rick is a Professional Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Coach
Contact Rick at (519) 351-9503