Posts Tagged ‘poor performance in the workplace’

Simple Steps to Raise Employee Morale at Your Workplace

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Disengaged employees are detrimental to your business, and the current state of the economy has increased the number of workers who are no longer engaged. Little to no salary increases, poor benefits options and juggling more with less can cause your high performers to become frustrated and ultimately disengaged. Today’s economic climate might make them afraid to leave your organization right now, but as conditions improve, they’ll be the first to leave you for a competitor that offers them a better work environment.

Before your best talent walks out the door, recognize the impact that high employee morale can have on your organization. Recent research shows that workplaces that boast high morale are more productive and have higher retention rates than companies that don’t. Without proper planning to increase company morale, employees will respond by producing poor quality work, being absent often, wasting time and resources, and leaving your organization. The cost of replacing and training talent is expensive but can be avoided if your organization makes an effort to improve morale.

The five tips featured below are inexpensive ways to create a positive atmosphere for your workforce. By implementing some or all of the tips, you will see the overall morale at your company increase:

1. Remember the Golden Rule

Treat others how you would like to be treated. Taking the time to show your employees respect and empathy will encourage them to reciprocate your actions.

2. Say “Please” and “Thank You”

People forget their manners when work gets busy and stressful, but these two phrases show your appreciation for the work that your employees produce. Say them often to keep your workforce happy.

3. Delegate

Employees stay at organizations that trust them to complete projects with autonomy. Empower your employees by giving them responsibility and trusting them to complete their assignments. Unless they perform poorly, do not micromanage your direct reports.

4. Recognize and Praise

Workers will show loyalty when they feel valued and are recognized for the contributions they make. So, frequently commend your workers when they produce great work or go above and beyond for your organization.

5. Incorporate Fun

Being serious all of the time drains productivity. Schedule group activities that allow your employees to loosen up and take a break from their routine assignments. Casual Friday and team-building exercises are two suggestions.

High employee morale is necessary for attracting and retaining top-tier talent. For additional employee engagement strategies, please contact a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.

Photo Source: bobaliciouslondon

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

Addressing Poor Performance in the Workplace

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

sleep at jobEmployees can exhibit poor workplace performance in more than a few ways. Some consistently arrive late and leave early, others are busy updating their social media accounts, and a few frequently struggle with closing their sales. No matter the types of problem performers your business has, continuing to let them under produce will harm your organization’s success.

Acknowledging and confronting poor performers are often challenging tasks for managers to execute. Weak sales, unsatisfactory customer service and decreased employee morale are a few of the consequences of ignoring low achievers.  To strengthen your business’ credibility in hiring top talent, address a poor performance issue immediately.

First identify the underlying cause that is making an employee perform inadequately. Many managers automatically assume that employees are solely responsible for their less than stellar work ethics. When investigating the situation, you might conclude that the employee is overly stressed from his to-do list, one of his immediate family members is seriously ill or he received incorrect information when he was trained. Once you narrow down the reason, you can proceed with a tailored improvement plan.

Incorporate the following actions into your improvement plans to accelerate productivity in low-achieving employees:

  1. Use specific examples when discussing occurrences of poor performance. Do not exaggerate or use the opinions of others when confronting the employee.  Ex:  “Joe, I’d like to address your tardiness. I have witnessed you being late more than five times during the past two weeks.”
  2. Take care to ensure that you know the best communication method for approaching your problem performer. No one handles feedback in the same manner, especially negative feedback. Proper communication can alleviate emotional outbursts or feelings of resentment.
  3. Create an environment of constant feedback and clearly communicated expectations. Waiting around to give feedback can lessen an employee’s sense of urgency to correct a mistake. Feel free to ask employees to repeat their understanding of your feedback, as well as the goals you want them to attain.
  4. Document each conversation and review session that you have with problem personnel. Be exact with dates, goals, deadlines, expectations and feedback. Capture both positive and negative results from the improvement process. This will help you evaluate whether the employee can turn his work efforts around.

If you do not see favorable results after maintaining an employee improvement plan for several weeks, your organization could consider moving the employee to another position that suits his abilities better. If this is not an option and all other efforts to improve productivity have failed, termination could be an effective solution.

To explore additional methods for handling poor performers, please contact an account manager at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746 and inquire about CAI’s class called Managing Problem Performance.

Photo Source: hawken king

Ways to Monitor and Manage Declining Employee Performance

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Do you have a problem employee whose productivity and attitude have noticeably soured?

Donald Trump would just yell, “You’re fired!” But there are other ways to handle the situation.

Confronting an employee whose performance is declining is not something you can put off until tomorrow, because poor performance in the workplace can be contagious and negatively affect the morale and productivity of other employees. No matter how unpleasant or difficult it is, you must talk with the problem employee right away.  Find out what’s impacting his or her personal and/or workplace life.

The personal reasons for an employee’s declining performance can run the gamut, and may include:

  • employee is dealing with a health issue
  • marital or family problems
  • alcohol or drug dependency

Workplace-related reasons for declining employee performance can be just as varied. A few examples are:

  • employee is overworked
  • problems with a manager or coworkers
  • boredom

If the reasons are personal, you must not attempt to counsel the employee unless you are certified in that area as a counselor. You can help the employee gain access to a psychologist or other professional counselor, however.

Have Written, Explicitly Defined Performance Standards

As the typical manager or HR professional, you are qualified to counsel the employee strictly about work-related performance. But before you can establish the fact of poor performance, you must have written, explicitly defined performance standards against which you can effectively measure an employee’s work history. Once both employer and the employee agree that there has indeed been recently unsatisfactory job performance, you can begin to monitor and manage the situation.

Be Ready To Change Your Management Approach To the Problem Employee

A troubled employee may require a different management approach from you than he or she required previously. For instance, an employee who previously exhibited a confident, self-reliant work ethic may need closer supervision and direction for a while, until his or her performance issues become resolved. You will find that problem employees will require more of your support, time and attention.

In an emotionally charged situation with an angry, frustrated employee, you will have to listen carefully, display empathy or at least unbiased understanding, and be ready to help the employee seek a solution to the problem.

If the employee has a true grievance, such as sexual harassment, you must be prepared to take immediate steps to protect the individual and address the legal issues.

It is important to obtain a commitment from the problem employee to agree to partner with you (and others) to correct his or her poor performance. Establish a written plan of action, and set up a series of meetings that will occur regularly until the problem is resolved.

Many good employees may go through periods of poor performance due to a number of factors beyond either your control or theirs. Dealing with declining productivity and poor morale is among the biggest challenges a manager or HR pro will ever face, but if you meet the challenge squarely, objectively and with compassion, it can turn into a win-win-win situation for the employee, you and the company.

For additional information about how you can manage an employee’s declining performance, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Counsel team at (919) 878-9222 or (336) 668-7746.

Photo source: frozenchipmunk