September 13, 2006

News & Opinion: Are You Still Struggling With Employee Performance Problems?

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 7:27 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Does this sound familiar? I should have taken action sooner! If so, I believe it's because you don't think you've been fair. Leaders who fail at performance management are not respected. That's because it's not fair or equitable for top performers to be burdened with less competent colleagues. We all know employees talk about leaders behind their back when they turn a blind eye to obvious performance problems. Follow these four steps to solve almost any performance problem.
  1. Determine the source of the performance problem. Example, your salesman has not achieved quota for the past 6 months.
  2. Ask the employee to list up to three things that stand in the way of achieving quota. Determine if the reasons are due to real internal process problems or just excuses. Pay close attention because the solutions are different in both cases.
  3. Discuss each item and decide how and when they will be resolved. Its not uncommon for both you and the salesman to share some responsibilities. If the problems are internal process issues such as poor product quality, its the leaders job to fix them. If the obstacles are excuses, removing them allows you to see the salesmans true capability to perform.
  4. When the required performance is achieved, be certain to recognize the salesman. If the required performance is not achieved, you have been fair and its time to take action.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.