How Do You Handle Underperforming Employees?
I often get asked what to do with some one who is not living up to what the manager or leader feel they should. To answer that question I usually ask the following:
What is your definition of underperforming?
How long has the person been with you?
If a short time, how well were they trained; if a long time is this a recent situation and if so are there external factors such as a sick parent?
Do you have their key accountabilities – those 5 measurable things that if they did them well you would forgive them for other small things?
Have you shared with them these key accountabilities so they know what is specifically expected?
Do you have specifics you can share with them on how they could perform better?
Have you asked them what could help them achieve the key accountabilities?
Once you have thought through what is going on with this person, develop a follow-up process with performance goals and review times. Show an interest in their success and reward verbally.
If milestones and goals are not being met during the follow-up period, act quickly and be ready to let the person go. You want to make sure not to disengage good team members by keeping an under-performer who doesn’t want to get better.