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<i>Dear Workforce</i> How Do We Get New Managers to Document Performance

May 6, 2005
Dear Happy/Sad:

From your description, it appears that the former supervisors tolerated mediocre performance, while your new supervisors have higher standards. Now that the employees are back from leave, you must address the gap inperformance. That's both good and bad news.
The bad news is that you cannot do much to make up for past performance, so you must look to the future to correct things. It could require a lot ofsupervisory stamina to straighten things out.
Nevertheless, take heart that your new supervisors are making high performance a priority and providing the leadership needed to make this happen. Working with employees who didn't have to perform well in the past will test their motivation and abilities. Having new supervisors at the helm, though, will ease the transition for employees.
Help your new supervisors set clear expectations, establish performance measures and reward/recognize good performance. Establishing ground rules should help your supervisors motivate employees to perform at higher levels. Holding employees accountable while at the same time providing coaching, guidance andrecognition ought to improve the situation.
Remember to approach employees with confidence in their abilities and respect for their trustworthiness. If you expect employees to fail, they will. It also is possible that the employees did not get along with their former supervisor, causing their motivational levels to suffer. Give them the benefit of the doubt and focus on the positive. Provide as much praise as possible and address performance issues without delay.
What if employees don't turn around their performance? With documented performance expectations and follow-up coaching, you are now on solid footing to implement progressive discipline if it is warranted. Hopefully, you won't have to consider that.
SOURCE: Patsy Svare, managing director,The Chatfield Group, Glenview, Illinois, July 2, 2004.
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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