How to address poor performance in your area of responsibility? What sort of innovation would you like to propose and implement? How do you address grievance? Poor staff performance and ‘problem workers’ are some of the trickiest things to be dealt with in the office. It’s difficult to balance morale and productivity in the optimum way for office success, and as a result I often hear of managers turning a blind eye to poor staff performance, fearing that drawing attention to it will cause problems in the atmosphere and work environment.
The truth is that avoiding dealing with problem staff is often the worst thing you can do. If you turn a blind eye, the rot can spread to the other apples. If a member of staff is consistently late, for example, and nothing is seen to be done about it, then why should other staff members keep up high standards of timeliness? Inevitably, a rot sets in around the office and poor staff performance becomes the rule rather than the exception!
Even if it is something that others are unaware of, like plummeting productivity, it is still something that should be dealt with as soon as you become aware of the issue – intervening in a timely manner will hit the problem on the head early on, and prevent it from spreading and causing resentment and ill feeling. After all, problem employees may not realise they are doing anything wrong unless you intervene, and doing this early can act as a wake-up call to improve staff performance before it’s too late! The following are steps to address poor performance specifically in area of responsibility.
Initial step to be undertaken is to determine if there really is a problem: * We have to know the difference between poor performance and insubordination. Poor performance occurs when the employee fails to perform his job to an acceptable degree. Insubordination is a form of misconduct, such as failure to adhere to a written or unwritten occupational rule. * Handle an insubordinate employee speedily and decisively. If you ignore an insubordinate employee’s behavior, your other employees may view his behavior as acceptable, leading them to emulate it and him repeating it. Inform the employee that insubordination will lead to disciplinary action, such as suspension or termination. If the employee obeys your orders thereafter, then no further action is necessary. Record all incidences of insubordination in the employee’s personnel file. Refer to the file if he misbehaves again. * Ask the employee why he chooses to disobey your instructions, if you feel there could be an underlying issue for the insubordination. Keep in mind the employee could be upset about something or has trouble understanding her tasks. Regardless of the reason, address the problem head-on.
Then we have to try to work on resolving the problem by: * Providing counselling to the employee. Through effective communication, a supervisor can resolve the majority of her employee’s performance problems. Set up a counselling session where you can reinforce your expectations and go over any performance problems. * Give the employee a chance to improve his performance if step 1 of this section is ineffective. Create a performance improvement plan specifying the opportunity period allotted to the employee to improve his performance. Be clear in your expectations and about the consequences should the employee fail to meet your standards.
Depending on the employee’s overall experience and the job type, you can offer the employee assistance, such as training or close supervision. * Do not take further action if the employee has met your expectations during the opportunity period–simply keep encouraging and offering her feedback. If the employee has still not improved his performance, decide on the best course of action, such as demotion, reassignment or removal from the position. Before making a decision, check with your human resources department to know your responsibilities.