Do you have a staff member that is underperforming?
Are you ignoring it or tackling it head on?
I find it all too common that a business owner holds back dealing with poor performing staff. They are worried if they push them too much it might lead to conflict or that the person may leave. After all, who wants to go through the hassle of recruiting someone again or worse still, what if you can’t find a replacement for them?
The problem is if you don’t address poor performance, it starts to become a festering sore in the business…. that causes more trouble the longer you leave it.
This is something to tackle head on!
You see by addressing poor performance there are 2 possible outcomes:
- The person’s behaviour / performance will come in line
- The person will leave
Either outcome is good for the business because you are moving forward and you are setting clear standards for your business.
So if this is you, here are 3 steps to deal with poor performing staff in your business:
1) Clearly Communicate Your Expectations
The first one is to clearly communicate your expectations. What often happens is we are frustrated with someone’s performance, but we haven’t made it clear exactly what we’re expecting. Do you see the problem? How can someone perform at a level when they don’t know what the level is?
So take the time to share exactly what behaviour or performance level you are expecting. Make sure it is very clear – let your staff member know what excellent looks like! Even having this conversation can lead to the level of performance you expect.
2) Have a Clear Deadline
Next make sure you have a clear deadline. Once you are clear on what ideal performance looks like, have a clear deadline by which it needs to happen by. i.e. over the next three months, I expect you to be performing at X level. Have a deadline for the areas that need to be addressed or areas that need to be focused on.
If you don’t have a deadline, then it just becomes a someday, one day, cross our fingers and hope it gets better. Instead work proactively together to get performance to the required level.
3) Provide Training and Support
Finally, identify what support and training is required. Sit down with the staff member in question and come up with a performance improvement plan together. Identify what training needs to happen, what systems may support them or if there are any other issues that may be impacting their performance. Work a plan together, that once followed, will set them up to achieve the level of performance required.
So, in summary, follow these 3 key steps to deal with poor performing staff:
- Clearly communicate your expectations.
- Have a deadline to achieve the required level of performance.
- Provide the necessary support and training, so you’ve given everything that you can to help them win the game.
What you’ll find is that either performance will lift or it’ll become too hard and that person will leave. The thing is, it’s going to speed up the inevitable…. Which is good for the person and good for the business.