Performance Weaknesses: Problems Crying for Immediate Attention
Performance weaknesses of employees have a negative impact on the performance and, thus, the productivity of the organization.
Weaknesses in employee performance, if left unsolved, limit organization's capability. The worst thing that can happen is that the corporation may face closure with adverse effects on the interests of all stakeholders.
Beside the possibility that proper systems and processes are not in place, poor performance indicates that employees are not doing their best. But this is only a symptom.
Various reasons may have caused employees to perform below average. The question is whether there is something that prevents them from performing well.
What you need to do
Adopt The Correct Approach
- Do not delay. Take action as soon as you notice something is not right.
- Get a clear understanding on the present level of performance, and why performance weaknesses exist. Find out why performance is not as good as before, why employees are making more mistakes than usual, why performance is not getting better, why targets are not achieved, and so on.
- Although immediate action is called for, do not act too hastily. Investigate first, get your facts right before you take any further action.
- Get the facts from the people involved, not from any third party. Make it clear that you believe or think there is a problem. Explain why you think so.
People-related problems are difficult matters to deal with. But this is not a reason for not taking action.
Problems will work out by themselves. These need immediate attention. Take some form of action before they get worse.
Hesitation and a "wait and see" attitude may lead to more problems. Things may already have become so bad that any action taken may end up as something done too little too late. Do not take this risk.
Focus on the problems, not the people involved. Avoid criticizing employees. Avoid hurting their feelings. Anything that sounds like disapproval may make avoid getting involved in seeking solutions.
Let the employees know that that you have confidence in them. However, you cannot ignore employee problems. Inaction will send the signal to other employees that you are "too soft." You may lose their trust. Good employees may retaliate by slacking in their performance.
This depends a lot on the effectiveness of performance management.
Wait for the right moment when dealing with performance weaknesses
You notice that one of your good employees is making so many mistakes. There are lot of rejects. Production rate is down. You receive more customer complaints.
Must you immediately jump on the employee and demand that he makes improvement otherwise you will show him the door?
Are there performance weaknesses that are not really the fault of the employee?
See whether it is one of those unfortunate days when things may most often go wrong. If not, talk to him privately. He may have a good explanation for it.
Show him proof that his performance is not as good as before. Tell him to show improvement. And tell himself of the consequences if his performance fails to improve.
The right moment to take action in matters of performance is to observe and wait a bit but not to delay taking action more than necessary.
A failure by management to take remedial action in the face of performance weaknesses of employees is a weakness in itself. It is said that this is the worst kind of weakness. It has the tendency to lead to other weaknesses.
The weaknesses of top management executives contribute much to the weaknesses found in organization. Weak management results in weak staff and organizational performance.
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