Helping Your Employees Help You — Addressing Performance Issues

woman talking to 2 people

Not all employee performance reviews will be positive. Expect targets to be missed and some employees to underperform, and as an executive figure, you’ll need to find a way to improve the situation or part ways with an employee.

When it comes to the daunting task of addressing staff performance problems, you need to focus on potential solutions, just like how you’d hire a personal injury or car accident lawyer for future incidents associated with your business than the issues.

To help you conduct a successful employee performance review and find the best solutions to the issues — here are factors you need to consider getting the most of the conversation.

State the Issue Clearly

It can be challenging to address poor performance with your team members, but avoiding the issue will only prolong the discussion. That’s why it’s best to be specific and state your problem with their performance clearly, so they understand what’s going on. Ensure the employee walks away from the conversation, knowing what their specific performance problem was and how to improve.

Be Employee Specific

If you’re willing to help your employee improve from their performance issues, it’s best to customize your approach and be “employee-specific.” That’s because you may have to deal with each staff member differently to get the best results. Discover what motivates each of your employees, when to step in, and when you need to be direct.

woman presenting to boss

Re-Set Your Expectations

It’s best to use the opportunity to ensure that role expectations make sense and see that your employee understands their roles. You can ask your employee to describe these ‘expectations’ in their own words and include the most significant roadblocks in their opinion for an individual in their position to accomplish them. Even if you’re addressing poor performance, ensuring they understand your actual expectations from them is the first step towards improvement.

Be Solution-Oriented

There are numerous solutions to address poor performance from the employee. These include training, upskilling, reassigning tasks, reviewing job roles, offering additional resources, giving more feedback, or providing performance improvement plans. All of these are just some of the many possible solutions to help your employee and company. Take advantage of the conversation to determine the root of the issue and suggest an appropriate solution.

Be Respectful

It’s best to approach the conversation respectfully as not doing so can lead to resentment and possibly expensive lawsuits. That’s why you need to separate the performance issues from the individual. You can be pointed or targeted about that particular worker’s poor performance, but ensure you never make any personal attacks or insults.

Never Disregard Potential 

In most cases, it’s best to have a conversation about improving performance and not about termination to remedy the situation and keep an employee. That means you need to consider your staff member’s potential to rebound from their current issues and meet your expectations in the future. To do this efficiently, tell them that you value them and think they are capable, but they need to make some certain adjustments. So, encourage them to change workplace routines or let them undergo training again if necessary.

Having the ‘talk’ with your employees is never the most pleasant experience, but addressing the issue and following the considerations mentioned provides an immediate opportunity for growth — both for the employee and your business.

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