Are you stuck with a problem child working on your team? Instead of avoiding the issue or filling out the pink slip, use these tips to get better results from your employees.
1. Set clear expectations and consequences early. Even though you understand the company’s mission, your employees may not. Make sure that your expectations are relevant, realistic, and treated consistently throughout the organization. All employees should know what to expect when they succeed and when they screw up.
2. Encourage participation in the employee performance process. Ask workers to link their daily tasks to team, department, and company objectives. Create an action plan with specific goals.
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3. Promote self-discipline. You ultimately want employees to self-regulate their actions instead of relying on you to reward or reject every behavior.
4. Understand motivations. Some people want to advance into management, some people like public recognition, and others enjoy the feeling of helping a customer. You can connect these motivations to employee performance and boost the sense of accomplishment.
5. Provide frequent, informal feedback. When you praise employees, you encourage them to strive harder and earn your respect.
6. Intervene quickly to thwart inappropriate behaviors. Some behaviors will stop after you bring them to a person’s attention. Let them linger, and you will find yourself with a larger employee performance problem.
7. Use specific examples. Let the employee know exactly what he or she is doing wrong and what the correct action should be.
8. Offer your support, training, and the tools needed to do the job. If your employee is going to continue missing deadlines or coming to work late, you must have made every effort to address the problem.
9. Document informal and formal discussions. If you escalate the issue to written warnings and termination, you should have some legal documentation to backup your case.
10. Meet in private. You and your employee should be able to speak honestly in a safe place without fear of interruption or eavesdropping.
11. Meet for formal reviews at least once every six months. If you have chatted often enough during informal appraisals, your team members should already know how they are performing and how they are progressing toward their goals.
12. Supplement formal appraisals with 360 feedback. By collecting positive and negative feedback from peers, managers, and any direct reports, you can give employees a more complete picture of how they are viewed inside the organization.
13. Follow through with your promises. If you have threatened an employee with disciplinary action, be prepared to take those steps. If you have offered a reward for good behavior, follow through with that promise as well. You will win more trust and compliance from employees if they know you always keep true to your word.
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