Ideally, performance management should be about driving for best results while engagement strives to cultivate that and keep employees intrinsically motivated.
Even though managers are busy, time needs to be spent to addressing performance issues to facilitate staff in fulfilling their potential. Suggestions to help include:
- Establish why under performance is happening. Finding the reason allows the manager to tackle the problem (not the symptom)
- Set clear objectives and give unambiguous feedback regularly on staff performance
- Give behavioural feedback on what has been observed and how it doesn’t match up to the standard required. Stressing the effect of the behaviour can also be influential
- Encourage and motivate the individual. Perhaps a change of managerial style might produce better results
- Listen to the under-performer’s issues and unblock things that prevent them working well. Look for signs indicating bullying or harassment, or perhaps problems at home. Unless the manager really listens, solutions may never be found
- Offer extra coaching if required. It could be that they need a confidence boost or perhaps have difficulty with stress and cannot multi-task well
- Adjust workloads/add variety/delegate extra duties to build self esteem. Beware that it’s not seen as a reward for under-performance
- Adjust the way in which the work is done to improve systems/processes
- Transfer staff member to another department/job. Again a risk of the action being seen as a reward for under-performance
- Where the performance gap is large, performance counseling may help
Of course, if you have tried to improve performance and you are not getting the results, you may need to go down the disciplinary route; however this action should be seen as a last resort.