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Managing Not Avoiding
Poor Performance
A Guide For Managers
1
CONTENTS
Managing not avoiding poor performance Page
1. Introduction 2
2 Common performance problems 3
3. Reasons why po...
2
Managing Not Avoiding Poor Performance
1)Introduction
Managing poor performance is an essential pre-requisite to getting...
3
2) Common reasons for poor performance
Performance issues can be due to a multitude of reasons. What we can do is split ...
4
3) Reasons why poor performance issues are avoided
We all know that raising the issue of poor performance is a challengi...
5
4) Handling poor performance – key actions
So how do you go about handing poor performance? There are many different way...
6
4. Ask for their ideas to correct the situation, then add your own
- By asking for their input you are placing the owner...
7
5) Transferring To The Workplace – Manager’s Action Plan
We hope you have found this document to be useful, but as you w...
8
How specifically will I apply these new skills back on-the-job?
In what way will these new skills make me better at my j...
9
Founded in 1992 and with offices throughout the UK, Connor has over two decades
experience in providing flexible HR supp...
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Managing, not avoiding poor performance

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Improve your business success now by downloading our FREE ‘Managing, Not Avoiding Poor Performance Guide Book.’


 Are you a Manager looking to improve your performance management skills?

 Are you needing to address poor performance within your team but are struggling
in handling this difficult situation?

 Are you interested in dramatically improving your business success through
employee performance?

Our new Guide Book will help you; it covers:

 Understanding the reasons why Poor Performance issues are so often avoided.
 Being knowledgeable of the most common problem behaviours.
 Knowing what a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is.
 Having an action plan to make sure that you can apply these new skills back into
the workplace.

Raising the issue of poor performance is a challenging and uncomfortable situation for any manager; many of us will admit that we would rather be doing something else and in many instances, the action of managing poor performance is delayed or even avoided.

This Guide Book is about understanding and recognising the reasons why managing poor performance can be avoided and looking at the approaches you can use to handle poor performance. It will give you the tools you need to ‘nip issues in the bud’ before they have a chance to develop into formal disciplinary issues and to strengthen your team’s performance to successfully achieve company objectives.


This guide is applicable across all sectors and has been successfully used by Managers throughout the UK.

There is no catch when you apply for our guide – simply download and get started!


For more information on our wide range of flexible HR Services and to find out how we can best support your business, please contact Sam Eaton at sam@connor.co.uk or on
01491 414010.

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Managing, not avoiding poor performance

  1. 1. Managing Not Avoiding Poor Performance A Guide For Managers
  2. 2. 1 CONTENTS Managing not avoiding poor performance Page 1. Introduction 2 2 Common performance problems 3 3. Reasons why poor performance issues are avoided 4 4. Handling poor performance – key actions 5 5. Transferring to the workplace 7 For more information on managing employee performance and to find out how our flexible HR Services can assist your business in addressing complex people issues within your budget, please visit our website: www.connor.co.uk or call us on 01491414010
  3. 3. 2 Managing Not Avoiding Poor Performance 1)Introduction Managing poor performance is an essential pre-requisite to getting the most out of your people. However, it is not an easy subject to broach and many of us fail to take appropriate action. It takes a manager with skill and experience to be an expert at raising the issue of and dealing with poor performance. In many instances, teams can become disengaged from their manager when the manager fails to address poor performance issues, even if the effect of this upon the team is not particularly extreme. A fundamental cause of tension among teams is the feeling that they are carrying a member who is not pulling their weight – this can quickly turn into stress if left unaddressed by their manager. Poor performance can occur at any stage in the performance management lifecycle, including an employee’s trial period. It is important that as a manager you start as you mean to go on and remain vigilant; resisting the temptation to give your new employees the benefit of the doubt and end up wishing you had resolved those issues earlier on. What’s covered? This eBook is about looking at the approaches you can use to handle poor performance, ‘nipping in the bud’ issues early on before they become formal disciplinary issues. If tackled early then there is a greater likelihood that the poor performance issues can be resolved before the issue becomes more serious. We will cover:  Understanding the reasons why Poor Performance issues are so often avoided.  Being knowledgeable of the most common problem behaviours.  Knowing what a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is.  Having an action plan to make sure that you can apply these new skills back into the workplace. Managing Not Avoiding Poor Performance – A Guide For Managers Definition of poor performance: “The difference between the behaviour the employee demonstrates and the behaviour you want and have agreed.”
  4. 4. 3 2) Common reasons for poor performance Performance issues can be due to a multitude of reasons. What we can do is split the most common reasons into two groups – situational issues and problem behaviours such as: Common situational issues  Job description, end results or statistics not being clear.  A lack of training or knowledge.  Personal problems getting in the way.  Employee is not suited to the job. Common behaviour problems The most common problem behaviours that we face in today’s workplace include:  Persistent short term absence – Particularly Friday/Monday patterns. These can have a corrosive effect on the morale of the employees who have to work harder.  Apathetic people – they rarely make an effort and favour average performance where they just do enough.  Disruptive types – who don’t work with the team and do their own thing.  Pass the buck – never their problem, always somebody else’s and ‘it’s not my job.’  Gossipers – people who disrupt the office.  Impulsive people – those who act before they think causing well-meaning chaos.  Procrastination – leaving things to the last minute or missing deadlines.  Temperamental types – those who quickly take offence. Managing Not Avoiding Poor Performance – A Guide For Managers
  5. 5. 4 3) Reasons why poor performance issues are avoided We all know that raising the issue of poor performance is a challenging and uncomfortable situation for any manager. In fact, there are a lot of managers who have admitted that they would prefer ‘a trip to the dentist’ over raising an issue of poor performance with a co-worker. This we can all understand – as human beings we cannot help but want to be liked by our co-workers, to not upset the equilibrium and to not have to feel guilty for the decisions we make. There again, as a manager you want to be able to do your job without apologising; after all, that’s what your role is, to manage your team and address any issues to ensure your companies’ objectives are met. This is where we can struggle with striking a good balance and occasionally we shy away from the issue of poor performance. Here are some further reasons as to why addressing the issue of poor performance is avoided: 1. Difficulty in delivering a negative message – Some people are nervous about delivering negative messages and don’t want to be become unpopular. The severity of this feeling will change depending on your relationship with your co-worker – for example, it’s harder to deliver a negative message to a colleague you also consider a friend or socialise with after work. 2. Taking corrective action against a person who used to be a peer – Never an easy thing to do! 3. Lack of follow-through – In some instances a lack of notes were taken so next time they have to start all over again. 4. Lack of time – Too busy! It’s easy to put a difficult task lower down the priorities list. 5. Hope the problem will go away! – Sometimes it does, most times it doesn’t and gets worse. 6. Passing the buck – Many managers will be aware that one of the most common ways of dealing with poor performance is to simply pass the problem – often by shifting the individual to another department. 7. HR will deal with it – feeling that performance issues are the responsibility of the HR department - This is not always the case! Managing Not Avoiding Poor Performance – A Guide For Managers
  6. 6. 5 4) Handling poor performance – key actions So how do you go about handing poor performance? There are many different ways that have been suggested over the years, but we have condensed these down into 7 top tips for you to try: (It is important to remember that when dealing with poor performance it is the behaviour you are addressing, not the person). 1. Point out the difference between present performance and agreed expectations - A way to do this is by pointing out what you originally agreed. This key action will define the ‘gap’ so that you both have a common focus. Example: Manager: "Robert, we have a new IT infrastructure platform going live next month and we agreed that you inform me of your movements. This week, however, on three different days it took over an hour to track you down." 2. Describe the negative impact of the individual’s performance - Describe in objective terms, what the negative results of their performance, is having on the rest of the team. Example: Manager: "Robert, when you are not available, like this morning, you create a problem for the whole of the team. The other engineers weren’t able to start their Technical Review meeting as you couldn't be found. This has resulted in the team missing a key project milestone and has upset the other members of the team. This as you can imagine has affected your credibility within the team." 3. Ask for their view - There may be some facts that you are not aware of. Use open questions that encourage input. Example: Manager: "Robert, we've talked about the importance of letting people know where you are before, and I'm very concerned about this situation. I would like to understand your point of view. Can you give me your version of events?" Managing Not Avoiding Poor Performance – A Guide For Managers
  7. 7. 6 4. Ask for their ideas to correct the situation, then add your own - By asking for their input you are placing the ownership for correcting the problem with the employee in order to get as much commitment as possible. Following this, you can then add your own ideas. Example: Manager: "Robert, it's imperative that the rest of the team, including myself, know where you are at any given time because you are a key member of the team. Have you any ideas on how we can achieve this?" 5. Agree a ‘Performance Improvement Plan’ (PIP) PIP’s are remedial objectives that focus the employee on what is acceptable performance. PIP’s are put in place to turnaround unsatisfactory performance and contain objectives backed up by clear measures which make it possible to see if objectives have been achieved. In order to create this plan, it is important to remember to ask if your employee knows what SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound and to ensure you assist in building the employee’s objectives around the SMART method. Example: Manager: "Robert, I think your idea of keeping your mobile switched on when you are away from your desk is a good one. You'll never be out of touch then. That, along with keeping your Outlook diary up to date should take care of this problem. Let's try that for a while and see how it goes. Let's review your progress on this, two weeks from today. How about right before the staff meeting, around 10:00am, here in my office?" 6. Mutually identify necessary skills and resources Identify and agree together, the skills and resources your employee requires to successfully achieve their agreed objective(s). This will ensure that the employee has every possible opportunity to turnaround their performance. Example: Manager: "Robert, are you up to speed with how to use the Outlook diary particularly in terms of colour coding your diary commitments? What support/ resources do you need in order to successfully achieve your objective?” 7. Express Confidence Ensure that you express confidence that the employee can turn around the situation. Example: Manager: "Robert, I have every confidence that we can turn this situation around. I will be available to help whenever you need me.
  8. 8. 7 5) Transferring To The Workplace – Manager’s Action Plan We hope you have found this document to be useful, but as you will be aware, the real test is applying what you’ve learnt back on the job. Thinking about actions now will help build motivation and focus to put them in practice in your role. Below is an action plan for you to complete, which is designed to trigger you to monitor the effectiveness of those actions. From a business perspective it’s vital that we see results from training. This process will help you get the most from this session and feel motivated to act. When completing your action plan, ask yourself: - What is one thing you will do differently to help you better manage poor performance moving forward? - What plan will you put in place to avoid procrastination in addressing poor performance? MY ACTION PLAN Name Learning Bite Title Date Putting into practice: What were my learning objectives? What did I learn? How do the learnings relate to my current job? Managing Not Avoiding Poor Performance – A Guide For Managers
  9. 9. 8 How specifically will I apply these new skills back on-the-job? In what way will these new skills make me better at my job? How will I measure my skill improvements?
  10. 10. 9 Founded in 1992 and with offices throughout the UK, Connor has over two decades experience in providing flexible HR support. Our flexible HR Services give you an extra pair of hands when you need them and a wealth of HR experience. We work within your timelines to make a real difference; whether you need us for ½ day, time to time, a few weeks or long term, we will design a service to fit your budget and your business needs - we listen, we do, we deliver. Companies who have used our service have said the following about Connor: About Connor  That we are PASSIONATE about making a difference  That we are highly personable and accessible  We understand their business drivers so that all the work we deliver is relevant to their business  The service offers great flexibility whether the support be needed at short notice, on site or remotely About Our People Our HR Consultants have the following things in common:  They understand small businesses and what it is like to run a business  They are first and foremost business people who happen to have specialised in HR – No fluff here!  They are “doers” and used to getting their hands dirty  As they are experienced they will have come across most issues before, meaning they can do things quicker, saving you money  They are pragmatic, accountable, responsive and credible We are not just an HR Services Provider…… We also supply our clients with:  Strategic HR Services  Training & Development  Executive Coaching  Professional Outplacement  Management Outplacement  Executive Outplacement  Career Coaching Look Out For More From Connor Can we help you? Call Sam Eaton today to find out more! Call Sam: 01491 414 010 Email: sam@connor.co.uk Twitter: https://twitter.com/Connor_HR Website: www.connor.co.uk

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