Even if you have a very good team at work that meets your deadlines and expectations, you might have a team member who is not at par with the other members in terms of performance. For most managers, this is a difficult situation to deal with. However, it is important to address this issue tactfully. You might not like to approach that particular employee initially, since you don’t like to create a negative impression or hurt someone; but at the end of the day, you have to tackle the issue in some way or the other.
Here are some effective tips following which you can turn a low performer to one of the best performers of your team:
- Set specific improvement process – It is customary for any professional organization to have a performance review and improvement process in place. After completing the review for a particular employee, it is important to cite as many examples, specific to the case, as possible, to substantiate your review and ratings. If you can’t provide specific examples, the employee might be left only with a sheet of numbers with no real reference to his/her personal case. Once you substantiate your opinions with proper examples, the employee will be able to understand the review better and will naturally adapt himself/herself to meet your expectations.
- Develop coaching materials – One of the best techniques to turn a low performer into the best one is to train the person thoroughly. Once you give performance feedback to your employees, make sure you train them to address their shortcomings so that they can set their work strategies accordingly. While some of the managers opt to coach their employees themselves, some others opt for peer coaching, where the older as well as the efficient staffs of the company are given the responsibility to train the low performers.
- Set specific goals for your employees – A low performer is not an expert in attaining goals and this is where you have to take repetitive and effective measures to improve his/her performance. You would need to review the performance thoroughly, find out the areas of weakness, and then set goals in those particular areas. Make sure the goals are smart and limited so that they don’t create too much pressure on the employees.
- Give feedback – If you think that giving feedback once a year is enough for the employees, you are not quite right. This is more so if you are trying to convert a low performer into one of the most efficient team members of your company. Since employees work with a mission to accomplish their goals, feedback from the management acts as encouragement to them. This is why constant feedback is required to get the expected results out of them. It’s also important to make the feedback as specific as possible, and not vague, so that the employee can deliver better results through training or practice.
Once you have located low performers in your team, you need to deal with them and help them get transformed into star performers. After all, not dealing with low performers can adversely affect everything and everybody, starting from your company’s financial results, to the happiness of your team members as well as you – as the manager. Therefore, make use of the tips given above, as and when you spot a low performer in your team!