How to enhance your employee's performance in five steps
1. You need to resupply him with the right resources for the job
Focus on the resources provided to do the job. Does the employee have what he needs to perform well and meet expectations?
Ask him about additional resources he thinks he needs. Listen for points of frustration. Note where he reports that support is inadequate. Verify the claims with your own investigation. People will often blame external sources for their poor performance before admitting their own fault.
This is a very effective first step in addressing employee performance. It signals the employee that you're interested in his perspective and are willing to make the required changes.
2. You need to retrain him to update and improve his skills
Provide additional training to the employee. Explore with him whether he has the actual skills required to do what's expected. Given the pace of change of technology, it's easy for people's skills to become outdated.
This option recognises the need to retain the employee and keep his skills current. There are various types of retraining you can provide:
• Training seminars with in-house or external providers
• Computer-based training (CBT)
• Simulation exercises
• Subsidised college or university courses
Resupplying and retraining will often cure poor performance. Employees and employers may get into ruts, and fail to recognise these issues until poor performance finally highlights them.
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3. You need to refit him to the job
When these first two measures aren't enough, think about refitting the job to the person. Are there parts of the job that you can reassign?
Analyse the individual components of the work, and try out different combinations of tasks and abilities. This may involve rearranging the jobs of other people as well. Your goal is to retain the employee, meet operational needs, and provide meaningful and rewarding work to everyone involved.
4. You might need to consider reassigning him
When revising or refitting the job doesn't turn the situation around, look at reassigning the poor performer. Typical job reassignments may decrease the demands of the role by reducing the need for the following:
• Technical knowledge
• Interpersonal skills
If you use this option, make sure that the reassigned job is still challenging and stimulating. To ensure that this strategy is successful, never use demotion as a punishment tactic within your organisation. Remember, the employee's performance isn't intentionally poor – he simply lacked the skills for the position.
5. If all else fails, you may need to release him
As a final option for lack of ability, you may need to let the employee go. Sometimes there are no opportunities for reassignment, and refitting isn't appropriate for the organisation. In these cases, the best solution for everyone involved is for the employee to find other work. You may need to consider contractual terms and restrictions; however, in the long run, this may be the best decision for your whole team.