Do you avoid confrontations when you are disappointed with an
employee’s performance? When you approach an employee about his or her performance or behavior, it’s important to do it in a non-threatening manner. This can be challenging - you may be frustrated with declining job performance. Whatever the case, it is helpful to prepare for difficult conversations and practice your opening
If you are documenting performance, it is advisable to discuss with your HR
advisor. They can help you talk through your own feelings and help you prepare.
List the issues as you see them…
This list should contain specific incidents, behavior, or observations, not generalizations or conclusions. Before you meet, identify what you want to accomplish with the employee, both from the conversation and from their future work performance.
Prepare for responses…
Try to anticipate all possible responses. (Be prepared to deal with denial.) Consider, for example, how you will respond if the employee refuses to cooperate or tells you that everything will work itself out in time.
Practice your opening words, out loud…
Be direct and give specifics.
“There’s something important that we need to talk about.”
“I haven’t been happy with your follow-through on projects lately.”
Try not to analyze the cause…
Remember that your goal is not to analyze the root of the problem, but to recognize that
it exists and determine what further action should be taken. Tell the person your concerns. Emphasize that you want to help. List the things that you have observed, and tell how these incidents affected the work. State how you feel as a result of these things. Then tell the person that you need and want to help resolving the problem and that you have to come up with a plan to prevent these things from continuing.
Come up with a plan…
Be specific about what you want and encourage the employee to offer suggestions.
Plan a follow-up meeting within one to two weeks…
This important step can afford the employee an opportunity to inform you of any progress in meeting established goals, and to be certain that both parties agree that positive action is happening. If there is no progress, consider modifying the plan and/or progressing with further discipline.
When problems fester, they generally get worse. Don't ignore them.
This article is based on a blog by Kathleen Greer of KGA Inc.