Identifying poor performance can be tricky.
When an employee is not meeting the job expectations the company’s bottom line and the team’s morale can suffer.
Following are a few performance gauges that hopefully will help to focus on what is important.
Poor work quality, avoiding responsibility or reduced productivity
It’s time for a sit down with the employee to develop and improvement plan.
The Performance Improvement Plan should contain specified goals, a timeline for completion and plans for weekly coaching sessions.
If, after the timeline is completed, the employee is still not meeting the set goals and expectations then disciplinary action, including termination, needs to be considered.
Arriving late, leaving early, calling in sick more frequently
These things can signal a lack of morale or motivation.
If the situation is related to just one employee, have a face-to-face dialogue to see if the root cause can be determined.
If it is happening across a department or the entire company, consider performing an anonymous employee survey.
There are many things that can cause these behaviors including a lack of leadership, ineffective training, or processes that need updating.
Insubordination, defiance, noncompliance
It is important to act on these behaviors as soon as they are witnessed or learned about.
Describe the unwanted behavior and specify the consequences if it does not stop.
Planned team meetings can help managers stay in the loop and allow problems/issues to be solved quicker.
Procrastination, inability to concentrate
These could be related to a personal issue.
This is an area that requires you to tread lightly.
Raise concerns in an empathetic manner but don’t pry.
If your company has an Employee Assistance Program, offer it for help. Perhaps, offer some time off work to work through the issue.
Managing poor performance should not be a huge event; it should be quick and relatively pain free for both parties.
It should also be done at the first sign of a change in “expected” behavior.
If unacceptable behavior occurs and is addressed immediately, it will be as much of a burden and will turn into chances to coach, develop and grow.
Make the approach more professional by identifying the signs of a poor performer first and take appropriate actions.