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Dealing with Poorly Performing Employees

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How do you deal with employees who perform poorly in your organization? Do you immediately fire them, or do you give them another chance and put them in some kind of performance improvement program so that they can make the cut the next time? Or do you simply change their job roles and hope for the best?

There really are no hard and fast rules for this. There are a number of reasons why employees perform poorly and therefore there is no single cure that can magically solve all problems.

Here are some tips on this.

Root cause analysis:

One of the first steps is to perform a root cause analysis. If the employee did make the cut in your (grueling?) recruitment process, you must have seen something in the employee. Figure out what went wrong. Sit with the employee and discuss all the pertinent points.

Look at all the records of the employee, from time and attendance to performance. If the employee is genuinely not interested or lacks skills, these records won’t lie and you will soon understand the reason for poor performance.

Offer helping hands and feedback:

If all the employee needs is a little bit of the job equivalent of ‘pick-me-up,’ be sure to offer the same. Make sure that the employee knows that you are there to help. Offer continuous feedback so that the employee knows where he stands and where he needs to go.

Give him the means to improve and ensure that you are not putting too much pressure on him and setting him up for failure. Use technology if you must to help him improve.

Some R&R:

Rewards and recognition never go to waste. That is what all employees strive for and when they receive them, they are on cloud nine. Tell the employee that he has a shot at these if only he improves. Motivate him the best you can.

If after all this, you still don’t see any improvement, it is sadly the time to cut your losses and let the employee go. Try to make the exit as conflict-free as possible and offer the employee suggestions on how to prepare for the next job.

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