What are the five basic steps in handling performance problems?
(Note that if your organization’s policies about performance management indicate a specific procedure for handling performance issues, that procedure should be followed very carefully. Otherwise, a court may interpret your official policies to be modified by how you actually handled a performance issue and you may lose protection from your related policies in court.)
1 . Note that performance issues should always be based on behaviors that were actually seen, not on characteristics that you or someone else senses or intuits about the employee’s personality. .
2. Convey performance issues to employees when you see first see the issues!
3. When you first convey a performance issue to an employee, say what you noticed and would like to see instead.
4. Consider special circumstances.
5. Make notes about the first meeting and its results, and keep it in a file for yourself. You might mention the situation to your board.
6. If the problem occurs again over the next two months, immediately issue them a written warning. Also, update the board.
7. On the third occurrence, consider firing the employee.
Employee Commitment: Get Rid of “It’s Not My Job!”
By Marcia Zidle
The attitude “I don’t give a rip about my job” happens every single day.
Employees get this way when they are bored with their job, or feel like a faceless cog in a big wheel or don’t know how “what they do” specifically contributes to the goals of their department or business unit. So what causes it? How can you, as a supervisor, prevent “It’s not my job” from happening within your team or department? Here are three ways to develop employee commitment.
1. Communicate the importance of what they do.
Every supervisor should be able to state a meaningful purpose for his department and the work that is being done. Here is a short but powerful statement that was developed by a manager for her five-person benefits group.
“Benefits are about people. It’s not whether you have the forms filled in or whether the checks are written. It’s whether the people are cared for when they’re sick, helped when they’re in trouble.”
It is a statement with the focus on the end result—serving people—rather than on the means or process—completing forms. How well do you communicate the importance of what is being done in your department?
2. Recognize the importance of recognition.
The motto of many supervisors is: “Why would I need to thank someone for doing something he’s paid to do?” Workers repeatedly tell, with great feeling, how much they appreciate a compliment. They also report how distressed they are when their supervisor is quick to criticize mistakes but not acknowledge
A pat on the back, simply saying “good going,” a dinner for two, a note about them to senior executives, some schedule flexibility, a paid day off, or even a flower on a desk with a thank-you note are a few of the hundreds of ways supervisors can show their appreciation. Money may get people in the door but it doesn’t keep them motivated to go the extra mile.
3. Tap into the importance of involvement.
There may be no single motivational tactic more powerful than asking for people’s input. An accounting manager presented a list of customer complaints at a staff meeting. She then broke the group into teams to find ways to eliminate these service glitches.
Getting every one involved in problem-solving accomplished three goals. It brought the customers to the center of the department’s day-to-day operations; it lead to greater ‘buy-in” when changes had to be made in a process, policy or procedures; and finally it said to everyone that they and their ideas are valued.
As one very proud production line worker in an automotive plant said to me, “They only looked at what we could do from our neck down…now it’s for what we can do from our neck up.”
It is true that most people must work to survive and money is certainly a motivator — but up to a point. For your employees to achieve great things, they need to experience purpose, recognition and involvement. As a supervisor you can provide that. It costs you nothing. And you might gain greater productivity and profitability.
Additional Perspectives on Addressing Employee Performance Problems
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For the Category of Supervision:
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