5 Simple Steps to Deal With Poor Employee Performance

April 18, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

Managing poor employee performance in one of the biggest challenges for any manager. And there are simple ways to make it much easier, and be a lot less demanding on your time.

For managers, the performance of every employee is vital, because in today’s tough business environments, there is simply no room for passengers any longer. Gone are the days where weak performances could be hidden away and ‘covered’ by the capacity of others.

Even in public services, where more flexibility with the pace of work might have been the experience in the past, the absolute requirement to perform and deliver with less resources is becoming the norm.

Here are 5 simple steps to help managers and supervisors deal with poor employee performance:

1 Be Clear with Expectations

Taking the time to set down the actual activities and outcomes expected for a role is vital. Even if it’s not initially refined, it’s a start. Improvements and tweaking can come later with experience of people actually doing the job as it develops.

2 Recruit Well

Even in a market where there are lots of applicants, taking the time to find the best one is vital. Using the role definition above will help with interview questions and assessments of capability – as well as helping to appreciate potential too.

3 Use Trial Periods Effectively

In many parts of the world, new employees are taken on subject to a period where they are assessed as suitable for the role. This ‘trial’ period needs to be managed very effectively to ensure that a poor performer does not become permanent by default. Many managers get lumbered with inadequate employees simply because they do not take the trouble to monitor, review and act during this time.

4 Have a Robust and Consistent Review Process

For ongoing performance, managers need to have a process they think through, gain input from their people and then use consistently throughout a review period (this is usually a year). That said, only dragging out a review period when it is time for formal review simply will not work. Ongoing informal conversations with team members must happen throughout.

5 Delegate Performance Management

Where the lion’s share of the work to manage performance falls on a manager, it’s always going to be hard going.

By engaging with individuals where they start to take ownership of their own performance and development, the most effective managers get the best of all worlds. Less time spent in formal reviews, more in support and encouragement and much more motivated individuals too.

Simple behaviours to engage and connect to get the best performance. It’s simply about changing your perspectives a little and then everyone will be the better for it.

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