Dealing with performance issues is a critical component of any founder or manager’s job. Since this often involves conflict and difficult emotions, many people put this off. That often means they do not deal with problems until it is too late to effective solve them. Firing and replacing staff is disruptive and expensive at best. Often you can avoid getting to that stage by more effective performance management.
Remember: your success is directly related to the performance of your staff.
What causes inadequate performance?
Far too often, it is failures in the system rather than the person. Management experts from Peter Drucker on, list the most common causes of inadequate performance as:
* employee does not know what is expected
* employee does not know how to do the task
* work processes interfere with good performance
* feedback on actual performance quality is not given to the employee
* there is negative consequence for good performance
These issues must be addressed first if they exist. It starts with hiring the right person for the right job. Orientation to your workplace, systems, and expectations is important too. Looking regularly at how your processes and systems work to see that they are efficient for your current needs is vital. And so is regular performance feedback.
When an employee does not perform to expected levels, you can succeed in improving the person’s performance if you address the issue as quickly as it is first identified.
Here are some basics on how to do this well.
* accurately identify the problem and the behavior change you desire
* give specific details of the behavior that creates the problem and the impact of the problem on the function or business
* involve the employee and ask for his/her solution
Once the employee has accepted responsibility and you have a mutually agreed plan, be sure you follow-up to ensure it is working well.
On a regular basis, you can create the conditions that help all your employees succeed by your own behavior and practices. Demonstrate your commitment to helping employees succeed by actively soliciting their ideas for improvements and by encouraging them to grow and develop their skills. Model the behaviors you expect. Provide on-going feedback on results. Say ‘thank you’ when you mean it.
There are many ways to improve your ability to manage people effectively. Learning to communicate effectively and managing performance are critical first steps to your success.
Join us November 6, 2012 for a Brown Bag lunch on how to handle termination of employment issues effectively.