Having staff within your business who are poorly performing can have a very damaging effect on the success of your business. Regardless of whether you have five members of staff or 500 members of staff, anyone who is consistently performing below what they should need to be managed immediately.
This is a tricky subject for any managers and owners to deal with and we had a chat recently with the highly intelligent Haris Ahmed Chicago based management consultant who gave us some great pointers on how you should be dealing with underperforming staff.
The first thing to assess in a member of staff who is underperforming is whether it is the fact that the job is simply beyond their reach or if indeed they are consciously deciding not to perform. Monitor their performance and give them particular tasks to focus on so that you can measure how well they are doing. Give them the benefit of the doubt, if they say that they simply cannot do something then give them one-to-one training and offer round the clock support so that they fully understand what is required of them. After this, if you still see a drop in performance levels then you will know that it is conducted over capability.
Face It Up:
Many people are great when it comes to giving praise but not so great when it comes to being the disciplinarian. In order to fix poor performance, you need to meet it head on and arrange a meeting with the member of staff. The first meeting is about nothing more than asking why, no need for discipline just yet, it may be that the member of staff has issues which you are unaware of so allow them to explain themselves in a comfortable environment. If there are no real issues as to why they are performing like they then begin them on a performance management program.
Performance can be easily turned around in a period of 4 weeks, you need to set measures and challenges for the member of staff and review them every week for a month to assess their progress. You could use a traffic light system to assess how they are getting on with each of their checks. If after 4 weeks everything has improved then agree to meet in a further four weeks to assess, continue this until the 3-month marker and then make the meetings every 6 months just to ensure all is well.
If the member of staff has not made marked improvements after the four week period and there are no extenuating circumstances then you need to be giving out disciplinary action. If after the disciplinary action, they still do not increase their performance levels, you will be left with no choice but to terminate their contract, this is not something that anyone likes to do but unfortunately, it is a necessary evil if you want your business to be a success.
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