I am on vacation – yippee – in New Mexico. I am pleased to be presenting posts while I am gone from several blogging buddies. I know you will find what they have to write interesting. There are two kinds of posts:
* Some folks are providing a post about whatever interests them.
* Some folks have graciously agreed to answer a set of questions I offered a couple weeks back.
I thank all my contributors!
Here is a post by Dwayne from Geniune Curiosity!
Reading Between the Lines
As managers, it´s our job to clearly communicate performance expectations to our staff. This takes the form of objectives, metrics, and other means of defining "acceptable"?? within your organization.
Once that´s done, we must provide meaningful, clear feedback along the way to let them know whether they´re on the right path or not. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, it doesn´t always work as expected.
During performance-related terminations, it is common for employees and their managers to have totally different perceptions of the events that led to the separation. The employee often "didn´t see it coming"?? while the manager feels the "writing was on the wall."??
The manager often thinks they have been very clear that the employee´s job was in jeopardy, and have provided clear warnings to that effect. In contrast, the employee often believes, "Sure there were some issues, but I didn´t think they were that bad."??
So what´s the problem? It´s generally communication. Some employees do not take hints or recognize subtleties in feedback very well — their minds just don´t work that way. On top of that, I believe that managers often stop short of hard confirmation with employees when dealing with performance issues.
If an employee doesn´t seem concerned about their performance, a simple statement like, "I want you to know that I´m very concerned about this situation. If I don´t see more progress in this area in the next x weeks, I´ll have to make a change. Is that clear?"?? can make a big difference.
I´ve seen employees make great progress after such a wake-up call, but they must first recognize it as a wake-up call.
Here are some practices that will help in these situations:
* Give your employee the "heads up"?? as early as possible to provide the highest chance for a successful resolution.
* Seek a confirmation that your employee recognizes the gravity of the situation when their performance is not acceptable. Being subtle may reduce tension in the short term, but it might come back to bite you.
* Follow-up with an email to recap your conversation to ensure that you both have a consistent understanding of the situation and your expectations.
* Consider using a written performance improvement plan — many companies have specific processes for these.
The difference between success and failure is often a clear understanding of what´s required for success. It´s up to us as managers to make sure our employees don´t have to read between the lines.
For more shared learning about on management, leadership, personal productivity, and observations for today´s world visit Dwayne Melancon´s blog, Genuine Curiosity.