Your employees’ poor performance is your Responsibility too
We’re all on this sinking ship together.
We all know that employee that just seems to not be pulling their weight, and while I’m not here to defend their actions or poor performance, I am here to discuss the best option moving forward. So often, the reason things seem to get worse is this:
We’ve let them drift too far away
When I was younger, I began working in a small office as the office administrator, we had about 5 people on team, and I was filled with passion and inspiration. Every day I was excited for the opportunities, and while it was in a small town, I’d constantly think about how this small town might be able to change the world. Cliche I know, but I truly believed we could achieve great things. Fast forward about six months, HR issues tore office apart, and I was left alone to manage everything.
For about 9 months I manaaged to keep things ticking along, but I no longer felt like this office could change the world. My belief in the business was failing, and my performance was too. Your employee may not be in this situation, but everyone has a reason for poor performance. You may not tolerate it, but it’s your responsibility to limit the effect that poor performance has on your business, and the best way to do that is to approach the employee and have a discussion about what is going on.
It’s my passion to see businesses flourish, and see employees grow along with it. Often poor performance stems from a problem in their personal life, and here’s how you respectfully address this:
- Be approachable. You need to make sure your employees feel like they can approach you to ask for time off, talk about issues and ask advice. You are not just their boss, you are their mentor. Treat them with respect and make sure they know they can ask you for help.
- Be cautious, yet curteous. You are not ‘prying’ by offering help or asking wha the problem might be. If it impacts your business, you have the ability to question the employee, but as above, be cautious. Bring along another employee or manager that you both trust for your own protection. Don’t wander too deep into the issues without the proper training, if it’s above your skills, refer them to a professional. But kindness goes a long way, and helps way more than a humiliating attack in front of other employees.
- Have a backup plan. Unfortunately, some things just can’t be helped. Some people don’t have the capacity to deal with everything that’s going on, and that’s neither your fault, nor your responsibility, but you should have something up your sleeve in case that employee needs time off (and they may not come back.) Protect your business, and remember to have someone or a system ready to pick up the slack.
Your employees should know their job description well, and it’s important to make sure they understand the protocol for keeping on track. Sometimes it’s best to get in early and make sure they’re doing okay. Treat them with kindess and invest in them, develop a professional relationship, and they’ll feel comfortable letting you in to their life. Raport goes a long way to preventing things from going too far, and awkward conversations go much better if they understand that you’re for them, and how important they are to you.
Let’s build that professional relationship and catch the issues early, ensuring our business and employees flourish.