June 22, 2023

How to Manage Your Employee Performance Issues

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How to Manage Your Employee Performance Issues

Over 20% of organizations ask their managers to focus more on behavior than outcomes when assessing performance. This implies that behavior has a prominent role to play in employee performance. As a leader of your organization, you have the onus to ensure employees have a positive outlook toward their work. The toughest part of your job is tackling employee performance issues. Remember, poor performers lower the overall morale of the workplace. So, if you fail to identify a low or poor performance issue quickly, it might spread and negatively affect other team members, the department, or the business.

Here are ways leaders can bring about effective performance management and resolve low or poor employee performance issues.

Tips on Effective Employee Performance Management

Step #1
Identify the Problem

It all begins with identifying the problem. Look out for the specific employee performance concern or issue. Your employee(s) may be facing challenges in productivity, building interpersonal skills, quality of work, work-life balance, attendance, etc. Leaders should be aware of the problem before moving ahead.

Step #2
Gather Information

After identifying the employee performance issue, it is time to collect related objective data and evidence. Track performance metrics and gather feedback of the employee (who is facing the issue) from their colleagues and customers. You must also observe the employee’s overall behavior while ensuring the collected information’s correctness and reliability. In the employee experience platform that you have enabled in your organization, weekly check-ins reflect how that employee has been performing over the weeks and the roadblocks.

Step #3
Set up a Meeting!

It is necessary to schedule a one-on-one meeting with the employee facing performance issues. Only then you can better find out the reason behind their declining performance. As a leader, create a comfortable, non-threatening environment to trigger open communication between you and that employee. The whole idea of the meeting should be to solve the ongoing issue and not blame the one whose work performance is suffering.

Step #4
Listen Actively

Your employees can express how they feel, like their perspective. Intelligent leaders actively listen to their concerns, challenges or pain points, and other crucial factors influencing their performance. As you listen to and understand their feelings, sharing your feedback, especially on the right solutions, becomes easy.

Step #5
Never Miss the Feedback

During your meeting with the employee encountering work-related challenges, quote specific examples where the performance is not up to the mark. You may also show how it deteriorated over time and what factors could be responsible for it. Don’t assume or share personal opinions; rather, be objective and focus on what is visible, i.e., the facts. Organizational goals must be accomplished, and if you are falling on those due to the ill performance of one or a few employees, communicate your expectations.

Step #6
Collaborate on a Plan for Improvement

Now is the time to work in unison with your employee and develop an improvement plan. Define goals, set them with clarity, determine actionable steps, and schedule a timeline for improvement. Goals should be realistic and measurable. The employee should be able to achieve them in the predefined timeline. Managers must provide requisite support, training, and other resources for their employees’ success.

Step #7
Track Progress

As you define goals for low or poor-performing employees and set actionable steps to achieve them, monitor their progress. An employee experience platform, such as Unlock:U, is handy here. It enables employee performance review by showing how your team members are progressing on their tasks. A team member may request your feedback at any time, or you may share your feedback during goal accomplishment. Managers may even discuss developments and address concerns by taking up one-on-one sessions. Acknowledging improvements and often recognizing your employees for their toil is best.

Step #8
Provide Adequate Resources

There may be times when employee performance is hindered due to a lack of skills. Choose an employee experience tool that makes mentoring, additional training, and coaching available to your employees through various courses. Offering them adequate tools or resources helps them develop skills and overcome challenges.

Step #9
Be Ready with Your Documentation

Managers should properly document all feedback, discussions, improvement plans, and progress reports. Such documentation is crucial to track employees’ performance history to take further actions if needed.

What if nothing works?

Despite following the steps discussed above and other efforts to improve your employees’ performance, the employee may fail to show improvement. You may thus need to take further actions, such as introducing formal improvement plans or taking disciplinary actions. Considering your company’s policies and processes, you might like to consult with HR or legal professionals.