Even seasoned managers dread the days when they have to discipline, reprimand or fire one of their employees. This desire to avoid confrontation and emotion-laden conversation with team members is perfectly natural, but solving people problems is an absolutely essential task that should not be procrastinated or neglected.
Establish Performance Measurements and Expectations
Poor performance from an employee may not necessarily be the result of lack of skill, knowledge or motivation. Many problems in the workplace arise from poor communication between parties, which is why you need to make sure that all team members have the information, tools and authority they need to do their job to the best of their ability.
Everyone working on a project should understand what is expected of them and how their performance will be measured. This establishes a common framework that defines success and failure for the project, as well as outlining the personal accountability of all team members involved. A single mistake doesn’t mean someone isn’t a good fit for your company, but a consistent record of errors or poor judgement calls could indicate a serious problem.
Provide Opportunities for Improvement
In many cases, it’s appropriate to give employees an opportunity to adjust their behavior and increase their performance. Giving someone a second or third chance is usually up to the discretion of their superior, who must use their best judgement to determine if the person could become the employee that they need to be.
It may be distressing or even frightening to dismiss one of your team members, especially if you’ve established a positive personal relationship. However, you can’t afford to let these feelings stop you from making the right call. When it becomes clear that an employee is simply the wrong person for the job, then you should not hesitate make the correct decision.
Use The “GWC” Check
The GWC Check is a simple strategy for evaluating whether an employee is likely to be a good match for your company’s team and culture. According to this viewpoint, an ideal employee will:
- “Get” their employer by identifying with core values, mission and vision.
- “Want” to keep their job in the company and fill their role to the utmost.
- Have the “Capacity” to do their job, including meeting deadlines and the mental or physical demands of their position.
If an employee meets 2 out of the 3 items on the list, then they have the potential be an ideal employee with the right training and guidance. If they only meet 1 or none of the items on the list, then they are probably not going to thrive with the company in the long-term.
Move Forward With the Right People
Personnel issues won’t just go away if you ignore them long enough, they can only be resolved by careful analysis and decisive action. As a company leader, it’s your duty to make sure that you have the right people in the right places. It may take a new hire a little while to learn the ropes, but bringing on fresh talent and perspective to replace a poorly performing employee can provide a huge productivity boost in the long run.
Proficient, effective and motivated employees are the most valuable asset for any company in any industry. The quality of your team members is a defining factor that sets your business up for success or failure. When you look at it in this context, then there’s no doubt that solving people issues is one of the most important things you will ever do as a leader or manager of a company.