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CareersManagers often have complaints about employees’ work not meeting expectations, thereby causing the performance indicators of the entire team to suffer. Many times, managers lack the ability to deal with these situations and are hesitant to highlight degradations in work performance to avoid conflicts.  

Here are two major guidelines to follow when addressing this challenge:

  • Business Communication: After bringing up the issue in question, any matter verbally discussed should be immediately and accurately documented to avoid any discrepancies in the information being processed and followed up by an e-mail to the concerned person. In case of non-action, a written reminder (e-mail is a common and effective tool) can be sent with a verbal discussion in person or on the phone. A gap of at least 48 hours must be given (depending on the nature and urgency) before escalating the matter with the concerned department.
  • Performance Management: In case of a first time discrepancy, line and/or HR managers should counsel the employee at least a couple of times to highlight the action, its impact and subsequent courses of action. In case of recurring performance deviations or behavioural problems of a serious nature, the matter should be documented, highlighting the consequences of a repeat violation.

Sending the employee on short leave with a clear intent to remedy the situation can be considered if performance does not improve. The last step is service termination with immediate effect.

Some organisations have discovered that ensuring an unresolved situation remains alive in monitoring reports can lead to better results as employees are more prone to remedy any discrepancies in performance if they know they are being monitored. However, it is always advisable to seek stakeholders’ input when finalising these processes and publicising them well in advance before implementation.

– Muhammad Muneeb Kidwai
The writer is a trainer, author and coach currently working as a training consultant at a leading oil refinery. muneebkidwai@yahoo.com.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 26, 2013.