There are some very important measures you have to apply in case you find yourself confronting a situation similar to the one described above.
Notice that while may not be the case now, it is something that could happen in the near future so it's still important to take a look at these six keys, as presented by Marty Fukuda for Entrepreneur.com and enriched with some adnotations from us:
1. Set and shape expectations.
It's important for all of your employees to know what you expect from them. Never wait for them to come to you for feedback because in many cases this might not happen. While some will think they're the greatest, others will believe they're underperforming. Make sure you offer straight and clear specificiations of your expectations and goals. Set clear standards and make sure they are reached. Whenever performing a review of someone's who's been in your company for many years already, make sure you also check some expectations you haven't discussed recently.
Many articles and specialists talk about how money is not the strongest motivator. Just think about it. If you were to hate your job, but you were paid a lot of money, would you be motivated to put passion into it? Not really.
Motivation has to come from within and it is built through external factors. It's not a paradox because when you encourage your employees, for instance, they will feel more motivated. If you trust them to give them responsibilities, they will also feel more motivated. In a review, offer encouragement and make sure you include positive feedback as well.
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Make a habit of truly paying attention to what your employees have to say when you perform a review. While you offer your feedback regarding their performance, it's also important to receive feedback from them. Most of the times, you'll be surprised to hear things you've never envisioned.
According to our previously mentioned source, a great review is a balanced conversation between two professionals. If you want this to happen, prepare a list of questions that prompts your staff to discuss his or her view of the work task execution. Pay attention to the answers you receive.
As always, take sufficient notes to help you prepare and write questions for the next review.
4. Put the employee in a position to succeed.
Offer all your employees the chances they need to succeed. Remember that their success at what they do is your company's success as well. You have nothing to win on the long run if you undermine what they can or want to do. You share the responsibility for the lack of performance together with your employees. Keep that in mind when performing a review and be also part of finding the right solution.
5. Fix regular check-ins.
These regular check-ins should never turn into sources of stress. What matters for your employees is a source of proper and efficient communication through which they can feel their opinions matter and that they are valued. End each of these smaller reviews by setting up the time for the next review.
6. Don't think your employees' goals are not important.
In fact, you are doing these reviews because their goals matter a lot and you should never see them as boxes to be checked on a performance review sheet. Build a genuine communication, nurture efficiency and develop objective and useful performance reviews.