What’s Going On? – Part 11 in a Series on Handling Common Employee Performance Issues

Most people at work are good employees.  They do what’s expected most of the time.  They work hard, come to work every day and play well with others.  Some employees go above and beyond the normal expectations.  They arrive early, stay late and are nice to have around.  But then there are those few employees and occasionally good employees, when they do it wrong or not at all.

We have all asked ourselves at some point, “What’s going on?  Why can’t they just do what I asked them to do?”

Here in this series, we will highlight 13 reasons that can affect a person’s performance and provide some ideas on how to handle them when they arise.  Many managers feel that they are just not motivated, which leads to non-specific answers to the problem.  In contrast, knowing what the problems are changes the question from, “How do I motivate them?” to “How do I improve their performance?”  Understanding this concept leads to specific actions that can be taken.

There Is No Negative Consequence To Them For Poor Performance

Do you have an employee that came from another department and was described as a trouble-maker, doesn’t follow the rules or is not a team player?  Do you have an employee who doesn’t like certain parts of their job so he/she just doesn’t do them?  Do you have an employee what when you administer disciplinary action you are told you are being too difficult and then back-off?  Then you have an employee that because there is no consequence for their behavior there is no need to perform.

Do you have poorly performing people who have received a raise?  Files that are full of poor performance evaluations and write-up and yet they are still performing below acceptable standards?  If there is no consequence why should they do what you want them to do?

What Can You Do?

  • You must make sure that there are negative actions taken for people who are not performing and are willfully choosing to do so.
  • You need to check on people and let them know they are not performing up to the standards expected.  Sometime, they don’t even know.
  • Assign work that an employee does not like to do if they are performing badly on things they like to do.
  • Put the employee in a less desirable work location.
  • Stop giving poor performers the same privileges as good performers.
  • Demote the poor performers.
  • Deny or delay a pay increase until performance is up to standards
  • Increase your time around their work space when they are not performing.  You might be surprised at the increase of productivity.
  • If all else fails and you have coached the person, terminate them.

Make sure that when their performance does improve, that you give positive reinforcement to maintain their progress.

Learn more about handling employee problems.

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