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Dear Workforce What Do I Do With Marginal Performers

First, consider how well current employees would perform in the future. Then develop a plan of action based on what you learn.
September 7, 2011
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Related Topics: Termination, Dear Workforce
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A Dear Caught:

There are two major issues in this type of sticky situation: 1) can theemployees perform and 2) how do you manage the differences of opinion in theorganization?

First, let’s look at the employee issue. What are your thoughts on this?What can you do to help improve their performance? How quickly will they get upto speed? How difficult would it be to replace them with higher caliber talent,and how long would it take the new people to get up to speed?

You should also consider how well the current employees would perform in thefuture. If workplace demands are continually increasing over time, you may justface this same issue again.

If you think the employees can perform at the level you need, sit down andtalk to them. If they are not committed, or you don’t believe they can get upto speed in a reasonably short time frame, you may want to replace them. If youthink they can perform, put together a specific plan with clear deadlines.

Involve your boss in this, too, and make sure that he or she is supportingtheir rapid development. You will have to weigh the issues and make your owncall. As a supervisor, you are responsible for the overall performance of yourteam, so make sure you are taking the right steps to ensure top performance.

The second issue involves resolving the two perspectives from yourmanagement. The first thing I would do is talk to your manager about therecommendations in the preceding paragraph and figure out your course of action.If your manager is strongly committed to the employees, I would find out exactlywhy, and what your options are for replacing them if you have to. Try toestablish a time frame for making a decision.

Then meet with the executive to present the plan you’ve worked out. Be sureto understand his or her concerns about your plan. The key to this will bedemonstrating your commitment to rapidly improving performance in the team,either through development or replacement. Maintain regular communications withthis executive until the team’s performance is completely satisfactory.

Look on the bright side: This is a great opportunity for you to gain somevisibility and demonstrate your leadership qualities to both your boss andsenior management.

SOURCE: David B. Peterson, Ph.D, senior vice president, Personnel DecisionsInternational (PDI), Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 22, 2002. He co-authoredDevelopment FIRST: Strategies for Self-Development and Leader As Coach: Strategies for Coaching and Developing Others.

LEARN MORE: See Integrate HR andTraining.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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 The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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