Square employee, round job role? Round off their edges with effective performance management

Every manager will inevitably have at least one challenging employee in their career. Maybe they lack interpersonal or conflict management skills, time management skills or general performance and engagement in their role. They could be someone they inherited, recruited or someone who started with a bang and then lost momentum.

But, before giving up on the employee in question, give the following tips a to try and turn things around.

Tip 1: Be open to what the employee has to say.

Judging an employee and their behaviour based on your own assumptions can prevent you from getting a clear picture of what’s happening and why. Instead of labelling the situation, take time to have an open discussion with the employee to understand their point of view and the hurdles they’re facing. You might find there are simple, easy-fix factors impacting their performance or engagement, or more serious issues that you weren’t even aware of. Giving the employee the opportunity to explore the issues in a ‘safe place’ will make them easier to resolve.

Tip 2: Be immediate with feedback.

If an employee does something you are concerned about, be straight and immediate with your feedback. Addressing the issue quickly ensures it’s fresh in both of your minds and isn’t building up any resentment. Be open to hearing the response to your feedback and having a constructive conversation- it may help prevent similar issues in the future.

Tip 3: Be professional.

Remember not to let your frustration with your employee get the better of you and lower your performance as a leader. Never bad-mouth an employee- it’s important to keep your frustrations to yourself or risk losing credibility and trust, leaving your employees questioning your ability to lead.

Tip 4: Remember how the performance of your employees reflect on you.

Part of the role of a manager is to guide your employees for better performance. Not only does poor performance look bad for the employee, not letting them know of the negative impact of their actions is neglectful and may reflect poorly on your ability to manage. Prioritise having the difficult conversations and planning for improvement. You’ll both be better for it.

Tip 5: Get help from the professionals!

If you’ve tried and failed at managing an employee’s performance issues on your own, it might be time to call in the experts. Often, staff will respond more effectively to an external performance improvement coach in a one-on-one coaching situation, or even just as a third party that offers an unbiased, objective perspective.

If you need a little more help or guidance on the issue, get in touch with our friendly team of outplacement and change management specialists. We can provide you with the guidance and tools you need.