Performance Management – examining basic reasons for poor performance
The goal of an effective performance management program is to make the best even better. Prior to the implementation of any stage of performance management, it is important to understand if there are reasons behind an employee’s performance shortcomings. In some instances, there may be an obstacle preventing an employee from being successful. These obstacles may not be within their control. Consider these options as possible reasons for an employee to exhibit poor performance.
- If the employee says “I don’t know how to do this” – in this instance, the employee is unsure of the necessary steps for completion of a particular task. It could be due to the lack of training, poor quality of training, inadequate training, or poor employee comprehension or retention. This is a training concern and is your responsibility. Your training and coaching will help this employee learn the steps to perform tasks required for the job.
- If the employee says “Something is getting in my way” – in this instance, the employee is unable to complete a particular task. It could be because an obstacle is preventing them from completing the task. Potential obstacles could include the lack of proper tools or equipment, equipment that does not perform efficiently, or some other demands that interfere with completing the task. This is a supervisory concern. As the manager, your responsibility is to identify the barrier and remove it.
- If the employee says “I didn’t know these responsibilities were part of my job” – in this instance, the employee is unclear about their job duties. It might be because a thorough explanation of the position’s responsibilities was not provided. This is also a supervisory concern. As the manager, you are responsible for ensuring that employees understand their job responsibilities at the time of hire.
- If the employee says “I don’t want to do it” – in this instance, the employee demonstrates a lack of motivation regarding the job and has the necessary skills, yet chooses not to perform the required tasks. This is a corrective action concern. You should assess the employee’s motivation level and begin the appropriate steps to ensure improved performance.
In each of the previous instances, a different course of action should be taken. Determine if there are justifiable reasons for the poor performance prior to implementing a course of action.