Poor performance in small business


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Poor performance in small business

  1. 1. Assignment: Introduction to management (IM)Name: Ishmael MosehleProblem statement:You are the owner of a hardware store. Over the years the business has grown andmore people have been appointed. Recently, you became aware that employeesare not performing according to expectations. It is obvious that something mustbe wrong with the organization structure and that people are not motivated.What aspects would investigate to identify the cause of the problems and what wouldyou do to motivate the staff?
  2. 2. Problem solving is a key skill and in business, problems are at the centre of whatpeople do every day. Regardless of the nature of the problems, a fundamental partof every business owner’s role is finding ways to solve them. So, being a confidentproblem solver is really important to a business success.Much of that confidence comes from having a good process to use whenapproaching a problem. With one you can solve the problem quick and effectively.Without one, your solutions may be ineffective, or you will get stuck and do nothing,with painful consequences.“Problems are only opportunities in work clothes” Henry Kaiser- AmericanindustrialistThe basic steps in problem solving: Define the problem Generate alternatives Evaluating and selecting alternatives Implementing solutions A. Definethe problem.At this stage, it’s important to ensure that you look at the problem from variety ofperspectives. If you commit too early, you can end up with problem statement that’sreally a solution instead. Example, “I have to find a way of disciplining peoplewho are not performing according to expectations”. This does not allow theopportunity of discovering the real reason for underperformance.Itwill also be necessary to follow the due diligent process. The process could beemploying the service of an expert like corporate coach, business consultants etc.But if the business owner is skilled and confident to handle the situation, it will be anopportunity to show casehis/her business acumen and deal with the problem and notsweep it under the carpet or ignore the problem hoping that it will disappear.In real life, it would be important to conduct one on one interview. Interviews must beconducted in a prepared room free from disturbances. Interviewer must be objective,be able to listen without interrupting and 1. Problem with organization structure 2. Employees not performing according to expectations 3. People are not motivated.
  3. 3. Problem with organization structureWhy should the business develop the structure? Answering this question is importantbecause structure means the framework around which the business is organized. Itis the operating manual that tells staff how the business is put together and how itworks. Structure describes how decisions are made.Structure is developed early with the business, but also as business grows andchanges, so should the structure.Regardless of what type of structure the business decides upon, three elements willalways be the very idea of business structure.They are, 1. Some kind of governance 2. Rules by which business operates 3. A distribution of work GovernanceSome people have to make decisions by which the business operates. This is firstelement of structure- governance. Rules by which business operatesMany of the rules might be stated, while others might be unstated, they are allpowerful. A distribution of workDistribution of work can be formal or informal, but every business will have sometype of division of labour.Business structure is something that is best decided upon internally, through aprocess of critical thinking by the group.General guidelines, What is the common purpose? How broad is it? Is your group service orientated? Service organization use top down approach. Is your organization more centralized?
  4. 4. How large is your business? A small business is relatively informal. How large is the community in which you work? How old is your business? How long do you envision it lasting? How many is your staff members?Structure must ensure that your business will function smoothly and as you intended.You should then in the development of your business, be aware that the type that fitsbest may change as your business grow. B. Generate alternatives, evaluating and selecting alternativeWhat type of structure should you choose?.The formality of business should determine the structure to have. Conditions favouring more or less formality in business structurecondition A looser, less formal, A tighter, more formal, less rule bound bound structure would structure would be be favoured when… favoured when…State of organization The business is just The business is in latedevelopment starting developmentPrior relationship among Many such relationships Few such relationships aremembers already exists existingPrior members experience Many such experience has Few such experiencesin working together occurred have occurredMembers motivation to be Motivation is high Motivation is lowpart of the businessNumber of business task There is a single task or There are multiple tasksor issues issueBusiness size Business is small The business is grownBusiness leadership The leadership is The leadership is experienced inexperiencedUrgency for action There is no particular There is strong urgent urgency to take action now need for action C. Implementing solutionIn designing the organization structure, the owner of business must ensure thatimportant functions like front sales are well arranged and led in a proper manner.
  5. 5. Other sales staff like electrical, plumbing, paint etc may be grouped under technicalspecialization. Front sales together with telephone receptionist are the face of thebusiness and must possess good business etiquette. They must be able to directcustomers to the right department and return quickly to the front entrance. Regularcustomers will have preference of walking alone and must be given the freedom toensure that they are not irritated. But they may also prefer to have a guide handlingpurchases for them, so it becomes important to front sales team to recognize thatneed.Front sales team must be able to assist in the absence of backyard sales staff or anyother section staff (all-rounder). HARDWARE STORE STRUCTURE Business owner accounting officer supervisor front supervisor yard supervisor supervisor sales other sales casiers sales team leader teamleader team leader staff staff staff staff electrical plumbing paint casier delivery staff staff staff driver
  6. 6. Employees not performing according to expectationsWell-integrated, high-performing teams-those that click’-never lose sight of theirgoals are largely self-sustaining. In fact, they seem to take on a life of their own. Andit’s all down to leadership. Teams that click always have a leader who creates theenvironment and establishes the operating principles and values that are conduciveto high performance.The reason for employees not performing according to standard may also be thatemployees do not understand what the business owner want to be done, thestandard to which the owner want it to be done or by when he want it done. Theowner must define a very clear picture of the future-a vision of the team. The oldexpression says “if you don’t know where you are going, any road will get youthere”.Journeys without a clear destination leave groups feeling flat and lost. Keeping staffinformed on where they’re headed and how best to get there means the businessowner must be prepared to acknowledge and adapt to changes in operationalconditions and even objectives. Business owner as the leader of the team, cannot sitback and watch, but instead must create and recreate the vision and team spirit thatstops people losing heart and becoming lost.Business owners as leaders must be genuine, even if it means lowering your guards.They must be able to laugh at their own flaws. Must not be afraid to talk about toughstuff. The owner must find ways to have the difficult conversations in the knowledgethat burying problems does not make them go away.Lack of skill, information, tools, time or empowerment to perform duties could also bethe reason for non-performance.Not understanding the importance of the task at hand may also be the reason fornon-performance.Not understanding the instruction could make employees not to do the task as theythink that the boss might not notice. (Instruction not making sense)Employees may have a better way to do the work that the way the boss told them.But the boss may not be open to suggestions and employees will keep doing it theirway hoping the boss will not notice. When the boss notices, he will give them Helland this will demotivate them.Personal problem or crisis will distract people resulting in poor performance.Given jobs that people are not suited in affects performance and morale.
  7. 7. Underpaid or not being appreciated affects performance of persons. Solution is, paymore and expect more. Otherwise the business will loose good staff.Lack of physical or mental ability makes people not to perform to the level ofexpectation.Face up to non-performing staff. Lazy, bitter and uncaring people do not meetperformance expectations. The owner must not tolerate staff that pulls the teamdown. Must not be afraid of people not doing their job. They are not rescuable, butthey are toxic and they will kill business.The owner must be confident and dependable. The owner must be known as thestraight shooter-must play hard, fight fair and never give up. Staff should know thattheir leader will not desert them or try shift the blame, but seek to protect them, evenif it means standing in the line of fire.The owner must ask questions to stay abreast of what is really going on. Must followthrough on commitments to build trust and maintain it. Allow others to speak first toafford an equal communication stage.Expectations of the business owner.Owner must clearly articulate workplace and performance expectations.Do not assume that employees know or should know what you expect. Ask forperformance.Acknowledge good performance.Refuse to accept poor performance.Prepare for and deliver annual performance appraisalAssist your staff in identifying job development and career development goalsModel the behaviours and actions you expect of others. Lead by example.
  8. 8. Setting and communicating expectations develoment planning position description Managing performance is a performance appraisal cycle and performance expextations ongoing process coaching and feedback preparing for appraisalPerformance and accountability is driven by leaders. They help employeesunderstand what is expected of them and gain staff commitment to achieve theexpectationsExpectations are shared in writing and directed towards behavior and workplaceconduct.Terms for expressing measurementQuantity: specifies how much work must be completed within a certain period oftime, e.g., writes 40 decisions per week.Quality: describes how well the work must be accomplished. Specifies accuracy,precision, appearance, or effectiveness, e.g., 95% of documents submitted areaccepted without revision.
  9. 9. Timeliness: answers the questions, By when? , How soon?, or within what period?,e.g., all expense sheets will be logged and paid within five working days of receipt.Effective Use of Resources: used when performance can be assessed in terms ofutilization of resources: money saved, waste reduced, etc., e.g., the criminalbackground check project will be completed with only internal resources.Effects of Effort: addresses the ultimate effect to be obtained; expands statementsof effectiveness by using phrases such as: so that, in order to, or as shown by, e.g.,establish inventory levels for storeroom so that supplies are maintained 100% of thetime.Manner of Performance: describes conditions in which an individuals personalbehaviour has an effect on performance, e.g., assists other employees in the workunit in accomplishing assignments.Method of Performing Assignments: describes requirements; used when only theofficially-prescribed policy, procedure, or rule for accomplishing the work isacceptable, e.g., 100A Forms are completed in accordance with established officeproceduresPoints to keep in mind1. Written performance expectations let you compare the employee’s performancewith mutually understood expectations and minimize ambiguity in providingfeedback.2. Performance expectations exist whether or not they are discussed or put inwriting. When you observe an employee’s performance, you usually make ajudgment about whether that performance is acceptable. How do you decide what’sacceptable and what’s unacceptable performance?3. Establishing a baseline for measuring performance allows the supervisor toprovide specific feedback that describes the gap between expected and actualperformanceCoaching and Feedback“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance ismeasured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.” – Thomas S.MonsonFeedback is defined as information we provide to employees about their jobperformance and their work-related behaviour in order to help them meet individual,group and organizational expectations and goals. Feedback can reflect positiveperformance, competent performance, or needs improvement performance. In any ofthese cases,
  10. 10. Feedback must:Focus on facts, not attitude Be detailed Be accurate Be future oriented Be supportive Be timely Be continualTo improve performanceLook for patterns in the employee’s behaviour. If you see a performance problem ora potential performance problem, determine if the employee understands what isexpected, what obstacles might be preventing good performance, and whether thereis a lack of skills, training, or motivation.To maintain standard performanceGive praise to keep performance on track.If the person wants to expand skills, allow for appropriate training.To encourage employees to exceed performance standardsPraise to keep performance on track.Provide training to expand skills.Mentor for increased responsibility.Assign special projects, when possible.To assist employees in developing new skillsProvide training.Give feedback to reinforce learning.There are two types of feedback, reinforcing and redirecting.1. Reinforcing feedback identifies job-related behaviours that contribute toindividual, group and organizational goals and encourages the employee to repeatand develop them. In other words, use reinforcing feedback to tell employees whatthey are doing right.2. Redirecting feedback identifies job-related behaviours that contribute toindividual, group and organizational goals and helps the employee to developalternative strategies. In other words, use redirecting feedback to highlight a gapbetween expected performance and actual performance.
  11. 11. Reinforcing Feedback Conversation1. IntentionBe clear with yourself so you can be clear with your listener. The purpose of thereinforcing conversation is to acknowledge behaviour you want to see continued.2. DescriptionDescribe specifically the actions or communication you are reinforcing. If thebehaviour can be seen or heard, it can be repeated:NOT: ―…doing a good job.‖INSTEAD: ―…meeting the deadline, catching the miscalculation, acknowledgingothers.‖3. Effect of BehaviourTell the listener how their behaviour contributes positively to the work or workplace.―Your calm reply reduced the chance of conflict.‖4. AppreciationTell the listener you appreciate the behaviour and its positive impact. Thank them.
  12. 12. Redirecting Feedback Conversation1. IntentionBe clear with yourself so you can be clear with your listener. The purpose of theconversation is to redirect behaviour you want to see changed.2. DescriptionDescribe the actions or communication you are redirecting. If the behaviour can beseen or heard, it can be altered.NOT: ―Mouthing off to a co-worker or ―not giving good service.INSTEAD: ―using profanity, using a loud voice‖, or repeatedly interrupting the clientwhen they are attempting to give you information.3. Effect of BehaviourTell the listener how their behaviour negatively affects the work or workplace. ―Theworkplace expectation is to communicate in a positive manner with our customers –internal and external customers. When I hear you tell your co-worker his idea isridiculous, it seems like a good time to remind you of our workplace expectation.It’s at this point that we might run into one of the 3 R’s:ReluctanceResentmentResistance People are not motivated.Wikipedia free encyopedia defines motivation as a psychological feature thatarouses an organism to action toward the desired goal and elicits controls andsustains certain goal directed behaviours.The definition is telling bosses to stop employing old school approach to motivatingemployees. Threats Pleading Carrot & stick incentive programsMotivation is not something you do for someone. It is an emotion. It comes fromwithin. Managers can create the type of work environment that enables andencourages the self-motivation to come forth.Things that must be avoided when motivating staff.Do not assume that you know what the problem is. It becomes easy to draw aconclusion based on past experience, however the problem with the approach is thatevery situation is different and people involved are also different.
  13. 13. Do not assume that people are motivated by the same things. Motivation is personalin nature and today’s work force is diverse than ever before.Today’s workforce consists of multi-generations, all motivated differently. Generation: Year born:  Generation Y (Millennial’s) 1977 to present  Generation X 1964 to 1976  Baby boomers 1946 to 1963  Matures 1901 to 1945Do not implement an incentive program. Rewards motivate people to get rewardsand not improve performance. For lasting change, managers need to roll up theirsleeves, jump into the trenches with the troops; provide direction, leadership, trainingand support. All the motivation in the world will fail if employees are not properlytrained and developed to succeed at their job.Carrot and stick incentive programs are artificial inducements that are nothing morethan control and seduction. “You do this, I give you that.”This will not permanentlychange the behaviuor. Rewards are perceived as entitlement. Staff begin to budgeton incentive money to expand their lifestyle. This will create a morale problem whentrying to remove it. You will be seen as a villain.Walk the talk. People believe what they see not what they hear. Words must matchthe action. When managers say one thing and do another, it creates cynicism thatcreeps into the whole workplace. Managers who walk the talk directly affect the trustof employees. Trust is the link. You either lead by example or don’t lead at all.Do not try to motivate the employees by creating a competition where there arewinners and losers. Inevitably, there are more losers than winners in thecompetitions. The question to ask is if the employees were not initially motivated, willthey be when they lose? This will only compound the motivation problem that alreadyexists.Managers should not be untrustworthy. Credibility is slow to build and quick to lose.It takes evidence of a single lie for manager to be branded a liar. In contrast, aperson has to tell a lot of truth to qualify as an honest person. Trust thrives wheremanagers give their employees no reason to distrust. When staff does not have trustand confidence in management, productivity falls, gossip spreads, staff turnoverincreases, cynicism spreads, and motivation goes out of the window. Lack of trustwill have a disastrous effect on company profits.Motivated employees feel in control of their destiny. Do not over control the situation.The more a manager controls, the more they evoke behaviors that require greatercontrol or managing.
  14. 14. Don’t be invisible. Managers tend to spend most of their time in their officespaperwork. Leaders are visible. Leaders earn followers and bosses inheritsubordinates.Don’t be indecisive. Business owners make money by taking decisions. Inability tomake a decision is frustrating de-motivating to employees. The worst decision tomake is no decision at all.Don’t sugarcoat the problem. Employees know what the problems and issues are,sometimes better than the bosses since they are close to it. Trying to pull the woolover employees’ eyes does not work. They will see through it and they will lose allrespect for you. Employees will respect and trust bosses who tell it like it is.Things you can do to motivate staff.Do investigate the cause of non-performance. The rule is; listen first, speak last andbe open minded. Avoid walking into the situation with an agenda and mindset ofwhat you think the problem is that’s causing the lack of motivation. Ask the staffindividually what they think needs to be done to rectify the situation.Following questions could help: On the scale of 1-10 where 10 is high and 1 is low, how would you rate the motivation level of our staff? Why would you rate it at…? What do you think are the causes for this motivation rating? If you we in my shoes, what would you do to improve the motivation of our staff? What motivates you to do a good job? What type of manager do you work best for?Take these questions seriously as this is a sign of respect which of itself will givemotivation a bit of a boost. Focus on opportunities and problems. Develop actionplan, set priorities, stick to priorities and take responsibility for your actions.Do take a one on one approach. Develop a motivation plan for each employee.When coming to motivation, the rule is, treat others the way they want to betreated.Do communicate. Communication is oxygen of a business. With communicationbusiness thrives. You cannot over communicate, getting all hands on the deckrequires effective communication at all levels because it drives results.The real drivers of high-performance are intrinsic (psychological) not extrinsic(economical).
  15. 15. In summary, a business owner needs to understand that above operational needs,he must also provide leadership to his/her staff. This will be a fulltime task involvingforward planning, coordinating duties, activating plans and controlling aspectspertaining to staff and business. Execution of these functions will determine the fateof the business whether it succeeds or not.Operating procedures must be put in place and must be reviewed continually tokeep-up with the changes and time. What works today, may not necessarily worktomorrow.Staff must communicate with each other effectively. Breakdown in communicationwill lead to quality and customer service issues leading to an increase in labour costsand customer dissatisfaction.Look into employee industry benefits. If necessary, have the staff share some of thecosts.Happy employees are productive, more creative and better team players. Makeemployees feel like they belong, recognize when they are making progress, takeinterest in who they are, encourage exercise and make your business a fun place tobe at.