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by Laurus Nobilis
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Performance Management

Performance Management: Handling The Problematic Employee (E)

Performance Management


What is the right approach of manager to performance management? How to encourage performance? How to deal with underperformance?

Posted: May 2010

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In some cases the regular underperformance management measures and corrective action plan are not giving the appropriate results. There are several possible reasons for this. Basically, underperformance is related to one or more factors: Knowledge, Skills, Attitude or Culture of the employee. It is necessary to assess what is the root cause of continuous underperformance.

In reality, the continuous underperformers are real problem to the company and for the overall working discipline. Firstly, underperformer is the "dead meat" of the company, since it represent the cost without benefit. Secondly, continuous underperformance is giving negative example for other employees.

There are several usual symptoms of behavior that shows the problematic employee:

  • Defensive stance

  • Unfriendly behavior even toward the most trivial things

  • Works less than the others

  • Does not respect the deadlines

  • Increasing the number of mistakes at work

  • Does not contribute to the team

  • Absence from work

  • Complains to everything

If we try to categorize the problematic employee, we can do it based on personal or professional reasons:

The performance management has multifunctional importance. It recognizes individual contribution and gives opportunity individual development of employees. It contributes to organization by achievement of targets and continuous growth. The performance management is opportunity for organization to recognize the contribution of employee and to respond through reward programs.

Problems caused by personal reasons:
"Rebel without the cause" is the employee whose character shows constant resistance against the authority.
"Misplaced employee" is the one that is placed to position or department that is contrary to his/hers personal affinity.

Problems caused by professional reasons:
"Rookie" is the newcomer to the company, who is not integrated in the processes and community yet.
"Physically present, Mentally absent" employee with the low motivation, low performance and usually high level of mental pollution related to the company, working conditions, etc.

Based on assessment of causes of problematic behaviors of employees, it is necessary to make a corrective action plan for the employee. This requires active participation with the employee. In case that knowledge or skills are the problem it is necessary to prepare trainings or coaching session. In case that the problem is with the attitude or culture, it is necessary to talk to the employee and to try to find the solution for the problem. In some cases the transfer to another department can be the solution.

Should the problematic behavior persist, despite all efforts, it is necessary to undertake specific disciplinary measures.



Related Reading:

Performance Management And Employee Development 
Full Performance Standards 
Reasons For Underperformance 
Feedback As A Tool Of Managing Performance 
Obstacles In Performance Management 
Managing The Underperformance 
Handling The Problematic Employees 
Disciplinary Procedure 



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