It’s performance review season and a few of your employees aren’t measuring up. It’s never a manager’s goal to have to discuss poor performance with an employee, but unfortunately it’s sometimes necessary. Part of developing your team members means caring enough to point out areas of improvement and do the hard work of helping them address and solve for those areas.
As you go into these difficult conversations, here are a few key reminders:
Prioritize alignment and clarity - While giving difficult feedback is challenging, you will fail your staff by not delivering clarity in your expectations. Ensure your goals are communicated clearly in this conversation. Discuss the consequences should your employee fail to keep up with their performance goals. Your team members can’t live up to expectations that haven’t been clearly communicated.
Use examples - Hopefully, this person is aware that their performance is not up to par if you’ve been having effective 1:1 meetings. Use recent examples to support the necessity of this conversation.
Follow Up & Set Checkpoints - Be sure to discuss progress in your 1:1s moving forward so you don’t lose momentum on progress. It’s not fair to your staff or helpful to you if the performance conversation is had and forgotten. Have an action item in your 1:1 each week to discuss progress and development opportunities. Remember, growth and development is an ongoing process, not a once-in-a-while conversation.
When your team member’s performance improves, be sure to celebrate those successes along the way. As we like to say at Lear, stop and smell the roses every chance you get. Helping your team overcome these challenges will be your proudest moments as a manager, and showing them you see and appreciate their progress will encourage further growth.
Aim For Long-Term Growth - As your setting check-ins and measuring success with this team member, remember that you’re not looking for a burst of improvement, you’re looking for long-term growth and development. Be consistent in communicating your expectations, where they’re winning and where further growth is needed.
If you find that performance isn’t improving after these steps and you do find yourself in a situation where the best way to help a team member grow is through a performance improvement plan, we’ve got you covered. We put together a template that helps you focus on the facts and work through the problem at hand in a way that puts employee growth first. Download our free template here.
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