Managing Poor Performance

Performance Management: Poor performing staff can make you angry.

“ Born to be Wild…..”

That is how the song goes, however all too often it seems to us some people are just born to be difficult.  We’ve all worked with them – people who show up late, gossip in the kitchen, never help others, never meet deadlines and often will leave early due to their ‘other commitments’.

Difficult people don’t bother us when we’re not immediately affected by them but when you or your employees  have to work with them difficult people can become major pains.

So, are they born to be difficult or do they develop this trait through poor management and working standards?  Have you noticed, they don’t just stop by being difficult either;  they go on to harass you and others, ask too many self-explanatory questions, neglect details, miss deadlines, distract you and repeatedly challenge you and others.  Are these the sort of people that you want dealing with your top clients and customers?

Dealing with difficult employees quickly will ensure productivity remains at the level you desire, morale stays up and your service standards are kept and maintained.  If you find yourself all too frequently hearing about or dealing with difficult people use our top 5 tips for dealing with them quickly:

  1. Don’t ignore the problem: Too many managers bury their heads in the sand and hope that the problem will go away – it wont.  People aren’t born with this trait they develop it by poor management and by being allowed to get away with it.
  2. Intervene immediately: As soon as you notice it or someone raises it with you address it. Understand the cause for the change in behaviour and where possible fix it.  Take action as soon as the negative behaviour pattern becomes evident if left untouched, the problem will only escalate and will be a lot more difficult to address once it becomes a normal part of the employees behaviour pattern.
  3. Discuss the issue confidentially: Do not shout at them across the office to ‘get a grip and get on with their work!’  Take the person aside and calmly discuss the issue.  Explain your issues and/or concerns.  Ask them if they were aware their behaviour was having a negative impact on others and the team.  Provide examples of annoyances and their impact.  Give the person time to respond and understand.
  4. Help the difficult employee to improve: Explain what the standards and policies are that are expected to be followed by everyone and ensure that the employee understands this.  If training is required look at the options available.  The employee needs time and practice in “trying on” new, more suitable behaviours. You need to provide specific feedback to this employee on the success or failure of his efforts during the improvement period.
  5. If all else fails, take formal action: If the employee continues to exhibit inappropriate behaviour and refuses to improve you need to consider formal action.  Not doing so is a disservice to the problematic employee, other employees and the success of the business

If you’re a business owner, finding yourself all too frequently having to deal with difficult employees, give us a call.  We can arrange training for managers refusing to deal with issues or we can run your performance management process robustly, quickly and effectively ensuring that you can get on with doing what you do best – running your business.