Employee Relations, HR

Under performing Patrick!

For the next seven weeks, we’re going to be dealing with a different issue from our Winning Cards series. This week, it’s Under performing Patrick we’re concentrating on.

Dealing with staff who are under performing forms an important part of performance management and we often hear from our clients that this area of the business is one of their biggest stressors. When just one person in the team isn’t performing as highly as the rest, issues can manifest very quickly. Staff morale can dip if others are taking up the slack of a colleague, customer complaints can hinder every area of your business and projects can quickly be put under time/resource pressure.

How do you motivate that difficult staff member? What’s really the best way to support him or her through a difficult time or enhance their performance? How should you critique them, so you inspire and avoid crushing their confidence? It’s critical to get these approaches right first time, there are often no second chances where employer/employee relations are concerned.

One of our clients (we’ll call her Jane) managed this so effectively that she turned one of her poorest performing employees into one of her best. How? She came on one of our management courses and then followed up with some coaching for herself. By using a coaching centred approach rather than a traditional directional approach, within the month, she was able to use this in the workplace. Here’s what Jane concentrated on and what we recommend, to help you tackle difficult staff members just like ‘under performing Patrick’;

Use far more open questions. Open questions of course are those questions which encourage information and avoid yes/no answers. For staff who are under performing, you’re going to want to engage them in conversation to really get to the bottom of their behaviour. Asking questions that start ‘How’ & ”What’ for instance get people talking and means you’ll learn much more about their situation. Questions that begin with ‘Are’ and ‘Do’ are closed questions and can only really give rise to yes/no answers. Start listening to the questions you naturally want to ask and rephrase closed questions into open ones.

Learn to listen more. It sounds obvious, but making sure you listen to your staff can make a world of difference very quickly. Eye contact is really important when you’re talking to a disruptive member of staff, when you ask a question, wait for their answer – even if there’s silence for a few seconds. Resist the temptation to jump in and re-phrase the question or butt-in half way through their answer. Listening also means being genuinely interested in them and having an open mind about the solution. Put aside your annoyances over their performance for a few minutes and listen to their opinion or point of view, you’ll get much further, much quicker.

Ask yourself if you’re giving autonomy to your staff? A coaching approach is based on the fact that each individual understands exactly what they need to do differently in order to make change. Too much micro-managing and too many rules are likely to inhibit someone’s natural performance flow. Agree what you want them to do and by when and then find out how they’d prefer to get the job done.

Do you really know what gives your staff positive job satisfaction? Making sure you know what motivates each individual staff member is key to shaping them into a valued member of the team. Finding out is as simple as asking them. To follow up, make sure whatever promises you make, you keep and make sure you remember what motivates them and can use that strength every day going forward.

More and more managers are adopting a coaching-centred approach to manage their staff issues as well as their business. Click the links for further information from Park City.

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Saul HunnaballSaul Hunnaball
15:44 12 Aug 22
We have worked with Park City for our HR and Health and Safety support for many years now and have always received an excellent service.Carley is our Consultant and she is always so helpful, as are... her colleagues when she is unavailable.I would highly recommend Park City.read more
Lea CuttingLea Cutting
08:31 27 Jul 22
Park City have worked with us for many years, advising and guiding us regarding HR and Health & Safety, along with supplying valuable training.We work with many people in several areas of expertise,... Sara Godfrey, Jennie Galione, Ashley Williams, Sam Parcell, Stephanie Devans, Poppy Hayhoe.They build confidence within our company and are always available with support and advice.They provide a consistent, professional, hands-on service, second to none!Thank you from DH Industries Limited.read more
Vikki PringleVikki Pringle
11:12 20 Jul 22
The team at Park City offer us the right level of service needed to confidently run a small business. They keep us up to date with UK policy HR requirements, help us manage any staff changes or... issues and policy documents. The team are informed, friendly and remain professional in my experience.read more
Tracy MeadTracy Mead
07:12 20 Jul 22
The DS Group have been working with Park City now for a number of years and we have found their HR services to be invaluable. The service received is always to the highest professional standards and... they have assisted our business in becoming more efficient and effective in all HR matters.My consultant Sam Parcell is always on hand to help answering any questions quickly and professionally and she offers vital guidance, advice and support to us.We as a company will continue to use Park City’s services for many years to come and we cannot recommend them enough!Tracy Norton-Mead, Operations Director at the DS Group.read more
Katie HerbertKatie Herbert
13:35 07 Jul 22
We have worked with Park City for almost 10 years and have built up a great professional relationship over the years. The team are so friendly and helpful, and nothing is ever too much of an ask for... any of them. Our main HR contact is Carley, who is lovely, and she is very prompt in dealing with any queries we have regarding our 100+ staff. We would highly recommend their services for any local business.read more
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