Volumes have been written regarding employee performance and the lack thereof, with very complicated explanations that border on psychoanalysis. For us, it’s really quite simple – there are only 3 reasons why our employees are not performing the way we expect them to. Now for the uncomfortable part – at least two of these reasons are our fault.
They don’t know what you expect
If the expectations for a particular task or procedure were not explained clearly, you cannot fault them for underperforming. Explaining something once, in a manner that made sense to you, is not a way to convey expectations to an employee. The standard must be clear, along with the goal we are trying to achieve.
They can’t do what you expect
This is where training comes into place, both at the outset of their career and beyond. Simply telling someone to perform at a certain level and providing no training is like asking them to watch a movie with no sound and report on it later; everyone will have their own interpretations and come up with their own conclusions. In business, this results in staff members doing the same task many different ways. Companies that forego continuing education and training for their staff risk delivering inconsistent results to their customers and partners.
They won’t do what you expect
Once everyone is clear on the expectations, and has proved to be capable of performing the task or procedure through training and testing, there is only one reason for non-compliance or poor performance, and that is a “won’t do” situation. The solution is simple; you must remove them from your team or company. You are under no requirement to coddle employees who chose not to perform; indeed, you are doing a disservice to the producers by letting them stay.
Applied evenly, this simple approach to managing performance will keep you in good graces with HR, as well as demonstrate a fair and understandable management style to your employees. As with all strategies, this seems easier in print than it is in practice. Give us a call or set up a free one-hour consultation to learn more about this and other techniques for making your business less stressful to manage.