Most people will avoid confrontation if it is at all possible. I’ve lost count of the amount of clients who tell me that the moment that they start dealing with a staff issue, that person goes off sick.
It’s an amazing phenomenon, it’s as though they think that by going off sick you will forget all about that pressing issue that needed addressing. The problem is that sometimes you do, it’s easily done, you have so much other stuff going on running your business and keeping your clients happy, that the passing of time can often mean that your priorities change and the issue gets put on the back burner.
But this is a cycle that can be dangerous to the success of your business and can lead to discontentment in your team. So how can you avoid getting into the cycle in the first place?
You need to nip performance issues in the bud! And here’s how:
- If there is an issue discuss it as it happens (or when you discover it), in private. Unless the issue is so bad that it is automatically a disciplinary issue. Having an informal conversation in ‘real time’ rather than waiting for your next 1-2-1 is best.
- Make it a positive conversation, discuss how to avoid repetition. Demonstrate what good looks like and offer support and training if necessary.
- Agree SMART (SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC,TIME-BOUND) Outcomes,
- Get the individual to confirm everything you have agreed in writing – a simple email will do.
- ACTUALLY stick to the review timeline (at least weekly).
- If the quality of work does not improve, use the evidence that you’ve gathered from this informal process to start your formal capability process
REMEMBER - If someone does go off sick after a capability conversation, press pause on the process, but once they return MAKE SURE you restart and if this happens again, ask for a doctor’s note. You may have to pay for it, if they are off less than 5 working days, but it will be worth it.
As always, should you need some assistance please contact us here.