Posts Tagged ‘poor behavior’

Don’t Let Behavioral Issues Hamper Strong Performance

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016
Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

Bruce Clarke, President and CEO

The following post is by Bruce Clarke, CAI’s CEO and President. The article originally appeared in Bruce’s News and Observer column, The View from HR.

Employees succeed with the right combination of aptitude and attitude. Technical skills are insufficient if poor behaviors dominate. Great behaviors cannot overcome basic technical failures.

Most managers are effective when discussing a hard-skills gap with employees. “Liz, when you seal a sterile container, make sure this checklist is followed, including a label with the seal date.” Easy. The discussion is all business, not personal. The skills can be trained. There is often a right way and a wrong way.

Behavior and attitude issues are different. Employees (and managers) bring their own versions to work. Our genetics and years of living formed patterns. No training class or checklist can cure behavioral problems quickly. There are fewer rights and wrongs. It seems too personal.

Because it is hard, many managers avoid conversations about behaviors until something blows up. “You make me crazy when you act like that!” “You are hard to work with, everybody says so!” “You’re fired!”

When we train managers in communications skills, tools and acronyms help them transfer new knowledge to the workplace. One of my favorites is B.I.T. Instead of getting angry and ranting, have a “Behavior-Impact-Tomorrow fit” the next time behavioral problems cause work problems.

Behavior

Focus on the observable behavior, not your guess at intent. For example, if you tell an employee “you are rude to team members during our project reviews and shut them down,” you are assuming the intent to shut people down. The employee will become defensive and never agree they meant to be rude or to stifle debate.

Instead, describe the observable behavior: “Several times during our last team meeting, you interrupted before the other person finished their thought. This has happened in other meetings as well.”

Impact

Next, describe the impact of this behavior. “When you interrupt someone who is trying to explain their idea, several things happen. It can prevent us all from learning something valuable. It can chill others from challenging your ideas. It also hurts your ability to receive a fair shot for your own ideas. For example, I saw Mary back off her idea yesterday when you interrupted before she finished a sentence.

Tomorrow

“Tomorrow, I expect you to listen well to teammates and work hard to understand what they are saying. Ask them questions to understand their ideas. Hear them out before you ask them to hear you. Tomorrow, spend time listening to the speaker to understand, rather than inserting your response. Sit on your hands if you need that reminder. It will benefit you and the team.”

“Stop interrupting people!” is better than ignoring the problem, but providing a tool or technique to improve behavior works better. Describing the future state and giving more feedback after the next meeting make your expectations concrete.

Getting the very best from every employee is a manager’s main purpose. Motivation, rewards, clarity, engagement and recognition all play a part. Coaching and corrective discussions can be just as important, especially when behavioral problems prevent excellent performance.

If you have any further suggestions as to how managers can improve behavior and attitude issues, please let us know in the comments! For questions, please contact our Advice & Resolution team at at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 if you encounter any further challenges with the growth of your small business.

3 Workplace Practices to Clean Up this Spring

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Today is the first day of spring. During the season of rebirth and renewal, people are eager to clean out their cluttered garages, revamp their tired wardrobes or get started on projects they keep putting off. Similarly to the improved changes you can make to yourself or your home, your organization can also take part in a transformation.

Giving your company a good spring cleaning will help you uncover inefficient and unnecessary workflows or outgrown policies and procedures. Here are three areas you should be sure to keep clean:

Social Media

More than 50 percent of people in the United States visit social media sites. The different internet communication channels will help you showcase your brand and connect with your customers in several ways. However, if you don’t have a strong social media policy, the disadvantages of the tools might outweigh the benefits. Drafting a sound policy can protect your company from risks, such as a reveal of confidential documents or slander from disgruntled employees. See what to include in your social media policy here: Create a Social Media Policy to Protect Your Business and Employer Brand.

Employee Reviews

Giving your staff positive and constructive feedback is critical for the development of their careers and the success of your organization. Annual reviews include the summation of the feedback you give to your team members throughout the year and the goals you want to help them accomplish. Make sure you take adequate time to prepare for them. Performance reviews conducted correctly help your employees focus on achieving success. See how your performance review process measures up here: Four Key Elements for Conducting Productive Employee Performance Reviews.

Low Performers and Poor Behavior

Poor performance can impede workplace productivity. Useless distractions or careless mistakes from staff members waste your organizations resources, time and money. Coworkers of poor behaving employees can also be affected if they have to pick up the slack or spend more time fixing errors. Although confronting low-performing workers can be challenging, taking care of the situation quickly will help your organization maintain success and high employee morale. See tips for helping your poor performers improve their work habits here: Addressing Poor Performance in the Workplace.

Keep the practices in these three areas of people management up to date and well documented to set your company up for year-round success. For more information on workplace spring cleaning tips, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: Victor1558

Stop Poor Employee Behavior from Damaging Your Workplace

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

“No one has ever been fired for a bad attitude. Sure, attitude may be the reason given, but the real reason was poor behavior. We cannot know another person’s attitude (whatever that is) but you can observe and act on behaviors,” Bruce Clarke, CAI’s president and CEO, says in the latest edition of his News & Observer column, “The View from HR.”

Some managers are quick to say that their poor performing employees have bad attitudes. However, if they observe the actions of their poor performers and offer suggestions for improvement, managers can turn employees with perceived bad attitudes into productive workers who positively affect the company’s bottom line.

Knowing how to correctly handle an employee with a behavior problem is invaluable for employers.  Threatening to fire or demote an employee the next time she displays poor behavior will do little to help improve her work performance. Use the information below to help resolve behavioral issues at your company:

Explain

Use specific examples of poor performance that you have witnessed when addressing these employees. Exaggeration and hearsay from others is not helpful and may cause employees to hold resentment or perform even worse. Communicate effectively by telling your poor performer what you expect from him and what the consequences are for not meeting expectations. Doing this gives him an opportunity to improve and also allows you to check his progress to see if further action is needed.

Retrain

Inadequate training can be the culprit of problem performance at your organization. Talk with your employees to make sure they are informed about the skills and experience needed for their positions. If poor training is the reason, retrain them correctly and give them time to adjust to their updated roles. Sometimes analyzing training reveals that an employee is actually not the best fit for her job. If this occurs, see if she has tasks that you can give to another employee or if you can reassign her to a new position.

Monitor

Employees with unsuitable workplace behavior should have increased supervision. Micromanaging is not necessary, but checking in with them frequently will help you determine if they can improve or if you need to let them go. Once you and your poor performer agree on an improvement plan, set up a weekly meeting to assess his progress and uncover any obstacles that he may be facing. Reward employees or take further disciplinary action based on the information you learn from these meetings. Keep these meetings documented so you and the employee have a record of his workplace behavior. Documenting these meetings also will be legally helpful if terminating an employee becomes an option.

Be swift when dealing with employees who display poor workplace behavior. Addressing the issue quickly will show your intolerance for unsatisfactory performance. Failing to do so will lower your team’s morale because productive staff members will be responsible for carrying the weight of their less productive colleagues. You are also in danger of wasting time, energy, resources and money when you accept poor employee performance. Call CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 for additional guidance on performance management issues.

Photo Source: National Assembly For Wales / Cynulliad Cymru’s photostream