Managing Employee Performance
As an experienced manager, I know the immense benefits of having the right employee, as well as the dangers of having the wrong one. For that reason, I regularly check the performance of my employees to determine who is fit or unfit to work. However, before doing so, I always ensure that I have modified their workplace environment to eliminate anything that might hamper their performance. In this paper, I depict how identified John was underperforming. I also outline a plan with which I want to ensure that he has improved his performance. According to the plan, he has to improve his performance within four weeks; or else, I will be forced to sack him.
In the firm where I am currently the head of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) department, we recently hired four customer care representative officers, namely: John, Alicia, Blanca, and Jane. Each of them is responsible for many roles, including: handling incoming calls from clients, generating leads for new sales, identifying and solving urgent customer needs, meeting sale targets, and building long-lasting personal relationships. As a result, the company expects a lot from them because their actions portray its overall image. In particular, because their department falls under my portfolio, I have set a very high standard that each of them should meet on a daily basis. Thus, one of their other core roles is to ensure that they report to me every day about their progress or accomplishments.
During the six-week period that they have worked with me, all of them have performed overwhelmingly well except John. For example, compared to the other three representatives, he always handles the least number of incoming calls, fewer than the minimum target of 30 per day. Moreover, unlike the others, he has never managed to establish a new customer lead that can benefit the company. Evidently, he is underperforming, and I have become interested in establishing what the main cause of his underwhelming performance is. At first, I thought that his poor performance was as a result of being new to the company. As a young graduate, I also supposed that he was suffering from a temporal nervousness of being the only male co-worker around three ladies. Consequently, I have persistently overlooked his workplace shortfalls until now when I think it is the right time to confront it decisively.
My first reaction to John’s underperformance is to invite him to a meeting where I will discuss with him his general performance. First, I will seek to know if he knows whether he is underperforming. I will then highlight to him why I think he is not performing as expected. I will do so by reminding him about the standards set for his job, as well as what I expect from him. Secondly, I will inform him all the dangers he may face in the future if he does not improve his performance, including being fired.
Causes of Poor Performance
After admitting that he is underperforming, I will seek to know all the possible causes of his inability. For instance, I will demand to know if there is anything beyond his control that is influencing his performance negatively. Personally, I have always thought that the chief cause of his underperformance is the negative perceptions he has about his environment, especially about being around female co-workers. There is also a likelihood that he is in the wrong job that does not fit his abilities; hence, he has no motivation to continue working in the company. Finally, I will enquire from him if I am one of the causes of the problem.
For John to improve his performance, we will explore all the possible alternatives that can enhance his efficiency. After identifying all the main causes, this stage will require that they are eliminated or be modified to suit the challenges of John. For instance, if John admits that he does not feel comfortable working with the ladies, I will organize informal bonding sessions where he can get to know his peers better. Other problems will be minimized by ensuring that he is trained how to handle them. Finally, I will give John a clear timeline of four weeks to see his improvement at the workplace.
After the meeting, I will strictly observe his reaction in the workplace. Particularly, I will be ready to issue guidance whenever he is stuck. Nonetheless, I will not allow him to continue using excuses as justifications for more cases of underperformance. After the elapse of the four weeks, I will only retain him if he shows clear signs of improvement. However, if he continues to perform dismally, I will be forced to sack him.
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