How To Handle Employee Problems

HR TIPS ON POOR PERFORMANCE. Every HR manager/professional has had that tough moment when he/she has to speak with employees about their performance. Sometimes it may be an annual appraisal, other times it may be a final warning or termination. Regardless of the situation, planning is vital, If not the wrong things may be done or said; and difficult conversations may lead to difficult or damaged relationships etc. Here are a few tips to ease the pain and risk out of those closed-door meetings.

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  • Don't Delay.better performance anthony

It is understandable when we defer uncomfortable confrontations. But when as employee sees that his or her managers are procrastinating, they will sense that an under performance discussion is likely to happen or appear soon. They will use this to their advantage. For example, the individual may consult with a lawyer, allege a legal wrong, engage in protected activity, or take protected leave. These situations put you in a spot; because when you finally have that difficult conversation that you've been avoiding for so long, it may appear like one is trying to retaliate. Delaying only gives the employee power to prepare for bad news; and get their mind set for such. If you must defer the discussion, document when, why and what the conversation will be about and why you have to wait that long to speak.

  • Avoid chit-chatting.

People try to make the best out of a difficult situation whereby it is understandable but can cause problems. Treat the person respectfully, but dot engage in small talk to put off the issue. Remember, bad news, like gossip travels fast.

  • Document in writing.

It is ideal that managers prepare two documents laying out valid points on one's bad performance. One talking point for yourself and the second document for the employee. Consider giving the memo to the worker at the beginning of the meeting, so that you can allow him or her some time to review it. After all, you had time to think through and write it. Therefore, it is only right you give time for the worker to review; before starting the discussion.

  • Provide examples.

As a manager, you should broadly identify where an employee's performance has gone wrong, for example in the aspect of customer service. Without more information, such generalities provide little guidance. They don't give the employer much to support in the event of a claim. Provide specific behavioural examples of times where the employer has dulled with performance. If you are going to recount small sampling of many incidents, make it as clear as possible.

  • Avoid focusing on intent.

When an employee fails with performance expectations, it is inevitable for the employer to be disappointed or angry. Avoid using words such as "you don't care" "you are not trying". The intent is by far irrelevant, results are prior. Secondly, you can't put proof on an intent. An employee always has the upper hand to demonstrate how hard he or she has worked or rather tried in effort to work. Finally, by calling into question on an employee's intent, you are unconsciously attacking the employee and when employees are attacked, they fight back.

  • Stay away from the word "why".

It is most critical that managers do not inquire or question or speculate to whether a physical or emotional condition may be the negative cause of the performance. You may ask a worker whether he or she may be depressed and the worker may answer "not anymore", that doesn't mean you should not try to help. You can be most supportive by saying "we want you to succeed, is there anything we can do to help?"

  • Make no excuses.

No employer is perfect, and sometimes the performance of an employee may drop due to the failing of the organization. If that is indeed the case, the worker should not be held accountable for the event or situation. However, too often managers make excuses like "it's probably just as much our fault as it is yours" simply to just soften the intensity of the situation. Such statements can come back to haunt you. Don't take responsibility unless you are solely responsible.

  • Watch for code words.

Before having a difficult conversation, make sure you use no bias words. However, even when an employer has a legitimate complaint, some individuals may take it as discrimination. For example, you may label an employee as "too emotional" and another "too rigid". You may base your analysis on age, gender, and feel it's legit to take it out on them. In the first instance, an employee yelled and then failed to meet her deadlines. Secondly, the individual refused to do what was required of him. Of course the behaviors are unacceptable, but the labels are screaming BIAS.

You must make sure that you give employees an opportunity to talk. Sometimes the worker may have a valid point as to why he or she is under-performing. With his or her reasons, may come a road map for improvement. As important as what the employee says is also what he or she doesn't say. If an individual says nothing and later claims he or she was denied accommodation, of hearing when in need, the prior silence may help the employer defend him or herself if taken to the court of law.

  • Clarify expectations.

Of course one needs to know what the problems of a low performance rate. But you must also make clear what your plans and expectations are for going forward. Set specific objectives and talk about when you will meet to discuss them-then do it. You must also remember as a HR manager, the primary objective of the difficult conversation is not to create a record that can withstand critical observation or examination. That purpose is secondary.

Rather your main and prior goal is to make sure the employees make the needed improvements so that both he or she and the organization can succeed.





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