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Part 2: Did you uncover a bad apple when looking at your employee's performance?

by , 14 November 2013
In yesterday's Labour Bulletin I gave you the first seven steps to help you manage a poor performing employee.

Let's have a look at the other seven now...

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Seven more steps to manage poor performing employees
Step #1: Don't assume your employee's aware of his poor performance
Don't take it for granted that your employee knows about a performance issue or what he has to do to fix it. Also, don't assume he'll perform better after the session. Explain every step clearly and have regular feedback sessions until he performs up to scratch.
Step #2: Use active enquiry to encourage your employee's introspection
You must give your employee a chance to respond. Ask open-ended questions for a more active enquiry. Use closed-ended questions for fact finding or clarification, where the answer can be a yes or no. Avoid them when you want a detailed response.
Step #3: Don't just give negative feedback
Don't see feedback as a short-term tool to deal with problem staff. Use the same techniques to give positive feedback too. Make regular feedback sessions a part of your management style.
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Four more steps to managing poor performers...
Step #4: Don't confuse a feedback session with a disciplinary session
Make sure your session's a positive and non-threatening process. Make sure he's clear on what's wrong with his performance. Encourage and motivate him to reach the improvement goals you've set together.
Step #5: Hold feedback sessions often
Make sure feedback is necessary, beneficial and regular. Have a session as soon as you notice a performance issue. Avoid holding long feedback sessions once or twice a year. Rather try having the following feedback sessions as a minimum:
  • Ad hoc performance feedback for specific tasks;
  • Informal performance feedback discussions once every six weeks; and
  • Quarterly formal performance review discussions where you can discuss collective feedback.
Step #6: Focus feedback on behaviour that the person can change
Don't try change personality traits or physical features, e.g. intelligence, speech impediments, physique. Rather focus feedback on exhibited behaviours (e.g. writing style, appearance, work output, mannerisms) that he can change over a reasonable timeframe.
Steps #7: Ask for comments about your feedback
Employees will see that you're able to give comments and you're willing and open to receiving them. You must willingly accept the feedback you get – both positive and negative!
So use these 14 steps after your performance management process to make sure you and your employee get the most out of your feedback.
Until next time
Taryn Strugnell
P.S. You can own the first performance review software available in South Africa... Click here now.

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Part 2: Did you uncover a bad apple when looking at your employee's performance?
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