How to handle underperformance – Productively!

Most people want to be successful in their job.

Consider the following suggestions when you observe performance that is not meeting your expectations:

  • Make sure you and the individual have the exact expectations and goals, as a mutual understanding of performance objectives is critical to managing performance.

Read why High Performance is not the same as High Potential.

  • How:

Schedule a conversation with the person and make sure you have enough time not to be rushed

Ensure that you have a mutual understanding of the employee’s performance objectives

          • Ask the person to describe what they are trying to do and how they view their performance. DO NOT interrupt and allow the employee to talk.

Listen carefully and thoughtfully to the person’s view of the situation.

          • Paraphrase what you heard the person say to ensure you understand
          • Ask the person to repeat what they said, but in different words

A Poor Performer Costs Money, But If You Like Them, It Will Cost You $76,500* – Two Approaches To Cut That Cost

Once they are finished, consider what they said and then share your expectations and perceptions.

Discuss any discrepancies between your expectation and what the employee has told you by:

          • Be specific about your expectations for goals and objectives that the employee is not meeting.
          • Listening carefully to the person’s ideas and perspectives and then determining if there is a way to improve the person’s work.
          • If the poor performance results from a lack of skill, knowledge, or experience, give specific direction to provide coaching and development opportunities.
          • If the poor performance results from conflicting priorities, clarify your preferences for this person.

Once you have a shared understanding of the situation, refocus the conversation on the future, not the past.

Ask the person for their ideas and solutions for closing any performance gaps.

Agree on the steps to be taken and a time frame for each step

Read about performance management fails & what to do about them

Follow up on the performance regularly by scheduling meetings and informally with regular check-ins.