Welcome back let’s jump in where we left off. How do you differentiate between an employee’s personality and their work? In making this determination be mindful that you may have a difficult time being objective. You are too close to the situation and you “have a dog in this fight”. That being said, if you are having a difficult time being objective have two other managers that are not close to the situation analyze it for you. Getting the perspective of two other people will ensure that the outcome is unbiased.
Let’s say it’s determined that employee’s personality is not a good fit for the environment you are trying to create. If their attitude is affecting the other employees in a negative manner pull them aside and let them know their behavior will not be tolerated. If their attitude is disruptive to the point that they are insubordinate then by all means take the appropriate personnel action to discipline them. Depending on the policy of your company and more times than not you cannot terminate an employee because of one infraction. However, if you have established a paper trail of infractions then by all means help them leave your company (fire them). Before you fire someone be mindful of our current economic climate. They may be a pain but all of us have to eat.
Before you go there and fire someone reiterate the changes you are making and why you are making them. Be honest and sincere with them by asking if they want to be a part of the new environment you’re creating. If they say no then be stern in letting them know that their actions will not be tolerated. Let them know there are no hard feelings and encourage them to seek employment elsewhere. If you want you may let them know you are willing to be a reference for them.
Let’s say it’s determined that their work product is the issue. What is lacking the quality, quantity or both? Are they late meeting deadlines, does someone always have to review their work because it is riddled with mistakes? Exactly what is the problem? In order to fix the problem you have narrow it down to its lowest common denominator. For example does this happen at certain times of the year, say only during the company’s busy season, are there things going on in their personal life that may be affecting their work? Really hone in on the problem so you can discuss the problem and not a symptom. Confronting an employee with a symptom will only make matters worse because it will appear as if you are being petty and picking on them.
The last thing you want an employee to think is that you don’t care about them. I’m not saying have dinner at your employee’s house. What I am saying is part of developing a good relationship with your employees is making sure they know you care about them. Demonstrating that you are human and care about other humans will immediately give you loyalty. We’ll talk about how to treat employees in a future post.
Now if the problem is their work one of the first things you need to do is ensure the employee is aware of their responsibilities. Have a meeting with them and clearly explain their duties and responsibilities as laid out in their position/job description. During this meeting you may also want to inform them of what your expectations are of them. If they don’t have a position/job description coordinate with human resources to develop one. It is unwise to take a disciplinary action against an employee, regarding their work, without ensuring they are fully aware of their duties and responsibilities. In our next post we’ll talk about ways you can turn this unproductive employee into a productive employee.
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