When you hire an employee, you hope they’ll exceed your expectations, but it doesn’t always work out that way. Unfortunately, some people fail to impress, so as the boss, it’s your job to get to the bottom of it.
It’s easy to assume the person is lazy, but that isn’t always the case. Often times, underperforming employees either don’t know they’re doing anything wrong or simply need a little extra training. Here’s how to talk to the person in an effective manner.
Five Tips to Confront an Underperforming Employee
Your employee can’t read your mind. Therefore, it’s important to share as many details as possible about their poor performance, because they can’t change if they don’t understand the problem.
Promptly Address the Issue
Talking to the employee as soon as you notice there’s a problem is a must. If you delay, they’ll assume you’re pleased with their work and will keep up the underperformance. It’s much easier to change bad habits when you don’t give them time to stick. If you speak up promptly, there’s a better chance they’ll change — and fast.
Take Them Aside Privately
Never discuss an employee’s performance in front of a group. Doing so is mean and will — rightfully so — cause them to become defensive. Always have conversations of this nature in private, as bringing these issues up publicly will make the person feel attacked.
Don’t Make It Personal
At the moment, you’re not pleased with the employee’s performance, but that has nothing to do with them as a person. Make this clear by being cognizant of your language. For example, saying “You’re a lazy person,” will feel like a character assault. However, saying “I feel like you’re not as engaged at work as you could be,” keeps the focus on the job.
Work With Them to Improve
If you’re going to tell an employee they’re underperforming, you need to help them change. In many cases, the person won’t know how to do this on their own, so they need your guidance. Offer specific steps to help them develop into the productive team member you know they can be. Check-in with them on a regular basis to track their progress and offer your continued support.
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