Anyone who has ever been in charge of a group of people knows how hard it is to deal with performance issues. They’d rather be roasted on the spit instead of facing another employee face-to-face to discuss deficiencies with their performance within the company and/or team. To make the process a bit easier, here are five horrible mistakes to avoid as you conduct the process.

Know your Team

Why is it that many managers are hesitant to discuss performance issues with their staff? Some second guess themselves and think that the issue is with them. Did they explain job expectations correctly? Will the employee be defensive when they are addressed? What is the best way to approach a performance issue?

There is something to be said for getting to know your team members. We aren’t talking about just their names but other aspects of their life at the company. How do they learn new information? What do they expect from you? What do team members consider to be a successful day’s work? What do they expect from themselves on the job? Knowing your staff makes it easier for managers to address problems with job performance as they arise.

5 Mistakes Not to Make When Addressing Performance Problems

  1. Judging your employees – It’s easy to go on hearsay. Other employees might be ticked off with this person for being late because they have to cover his work. Don’t let their frustration become yours. Only deal in the facts of the performance issue that has been presented to you.
  2. Don’t assume the employee is aware of the problem – Just because others are reporting it to you doesn’t mean that the person in question is aware of the consequences of this issue. Always begin as if the employee is not aware that there is an issue. Starting in like they should be aware will only blindside them and put their back up.
  3. Dictating actions – One-sided conversations never end well. Instead of talking “at” your employee and giving them your take on the situation, ask them what they feel would help to solve the problem. Work to understand where they are coming from before you expect them to understand your position.
  4. Unloading negative feedback all at once – It is best to address a performance issue as soon as you are ready and as close to the time of the incident as possible. Waiting until someone notices a problem to unload all of the negative things that have happened all year is not fair to your team member. It’s also not helpful to only tell them what they’ve done wrong.
  5. Tough love – You are not their parent and they are not your child. Playing bad cop won’t inspire compliance. Get them on board as part of their own performance turnaround.
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