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5 Tips to help you manage poor performance

03 February 2021

The success of your business very much depends on your team’s performance. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many to work from home, some businesses may have seen performance levels drop.

Addressing poor work performance within your business isn’t easy so why not take a look at some of the ways that you can address poor employee performance below.

Here are 5 tips for addressing poor performance from your team. These tips can work for remote workers as well as office-based workers.

1. Address the problem quickly

The longer that poor performance continues or goes unaddressed, the longer it will affect your business.

Any action that you take against poor performance needs to happen as soon as you notice a drop in performance, otherwise, your whole business can suffer.

2. Be prepared to have difficult conversations

Poor performance can happen for a variety of reasons, whether this is personal problems or incompetence. Every line manager should be prepared to have a conversation about poor performance at some point to make sure that the business can keep functioning at optimal levels.

To ensure that these conversations remain professional, ensure that you do the following when addressing poor performance:

  • Have examples – Don’t go into a conversation about poor performance unless you have some examples of when a team member has not been performing as they should be.
  • Remind employees of standards – To be able to recognise if your employee is underachieving then you will need to have some kind of standard that they should be working to in order to show how they are underachieving. This is why it is so important to set members of your team targets and have regular reviews.
  • Prepare questions to address poor performance – Asking questions can help team members regain the focus that they may have lost, leading to their poor performance. Consider asking some of these questions: What do you think has changed to affect your performance? Is there something new that is affecting your performance? Who do you think you are accountable to?
  • Creating a plan – A conversation about poor performance shouldn’t just be a telling off. You need to help your employee get back on track. Listen to their problems and think of ways that you can help them to overcome them to get their performance back on track.

These conversations are best to be kept in a private space, and can even be done via a video call if your employee is working remotely. It could even be working remotely that is causing issues.

3. Check in from time to time

Once you have addressed the issue with your employee, don’t forget to check in at regular intervals to see how they are progressing with the plan you put in place to help their performance.

Be patient with the progress that they make, especially if their issues are around workplace processes or relationships, which can take time to resolve.

4. Keep records of progress

From the first meeting when you address poor performance, you should have a document ready that will outline problems, solutions and how your employee is getting back on track.

If members of your team are working remotely, you can use emails or chat transcripts as documents, or even recordings of video chats, as long as you get your employee’s consent. All of this can be used to track your employee’s progress, or in the worst-case scenario, terminate their employment.

5. Take additional management training

One of the most effective forms of combatting poor performance is to recognise the signs of poor performance early. Addressing the issues can also be difficult if managers don’t like conflict.

There are plenty of opportunities available for managers who want to improve on their practices, and spending the money on this training can help to save money in the long run by helping managers avoid poor performance in their team.

Source: Zywave Inc. - Employee Well-Being Insights: 5 Ways To Manage Poor Workplace Performance Among Remote Workers

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