Managing underperforming employees can feel like fighting an uphill battle. If the employee isn’t taking direction well and you’re unable to commit to the time it takes to help them improve, you might think that it’s easier to start from scratch. But you hired them for a reason, and there is always an opportunity to create paths to improvement. So how do you come up with an action plan that works for your underperforming employee? Here’s a closer look.

Commit to Honesty

Often performance issues continue to be a problem when managers feel like they have to soften the message. They hint at improvements without giving direction. This can result in the employee not fully understanding the severity of the issue. Instead, commit to honesty and be clear and direct with your employees as soon as you can.

Diagnose the Problem

Next, you need to look at what’s causing the problem. Sometimes it isn’t as straightforward as action one caused outcome two. There may be underlying factors driving more complex issues along the way. You need to know precisely what is happening before you can make a plan to solve the problem.

Determine the Best Way to Follow Up Regularly

Underperforming employees need regular check-ins to ensure they’re not falling back on old habits. Create a plan to follow up with your employees to check their progress, measure improvements, or make additional corrections. This plan should be customized for each employee to access their strengths.

Decide the Best Outcome

For underperforming employees, you also need to know your expectations. Having incomplete or vague performance metrics won’t be enough to give the employee the structure to help them make the essential improvements. Break down the long-term goal into achievable tasks.

Make the Hard Choices

In some cases, a performance plan won’t be enough to improve an employee’s commitment to exemplary work. If your employee isn’t performing at a more satisfactory level, you’ll need to make the difficult decision to let them go. And don’t take too long to find a replacement, or your team may feel like they’re being punished for someone else’s poor behavior. You can always bring in extra help while you begin the hiring process.

Do you need to replace an underperforming employee? Contact the recruiters at CornerStone Staffing today.

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