Issues related to under performing employees have been a subject of concern for many employers, but unlike in the past, organizations, today have a more positive approach towards such performers. In a quest to address the reasons that lead to poor performance and tactfully address it, organizations are formulating practices and policies to turn their under performing employees into more productive ones.
How would one deal with an under performing employee in the past? After a few warnings if the employee is unable to get his/her together eventually he/she is escorted to the exit door. However, today, asking a person to leave on grounds of poor performance is considered as a last resort by many. They are willing to delve deeper into things to find out the reasons that lead to poor performance and by devising policies that tactfully address issues of poor performers, they are doing just that.
There could be reasons beyond skills like personal problems, issues with managers and peers, inability to handle pressure etc that could lead to poor performance. HR teams should be able to spot the exact reasons for lack of performance and come up with solutions aligned to the problem and the organization has to work with the poor performer and help him / her to come out of the situation.
Organizations must first understand the cause of non performance and then look for solutions. Before branding a person as a non performer, firms must identify if they could do anything to change the person’s present situation which will make him / her perform better than his / her current standards. Once the problem is identified, then firms have to work in tandem with the employee to enhance his / her productivity. The key to performance is setting expectations and establishing constant communication. The organization must ensure that enough opportunities and chances are given to an employee and trainings are provided to make an employee successful. An organization can deal with poor performers through counseling motivation and by honing their skills.
Strategies to enhance productivity:
The process to deal with poor performers starts with goal setting. Once mutually acceptable goals are set / define performance measurable parameters and conduct an objective review of performance along with the employee. Then discuss, counsel and identify training needs, define training mode and mechanism with clear objectives to capture training effectiveness.
At Nagarro, they monitor our individual performance by using the Agile Appraisal and Feedback System or A2FS. The highlights of A2FS are that it requires a review every month and all parts of the review are transparently shared with the employee. The employee has the right to question or dispute any part of the review. They have a process called Best Fit Mapping and we try to fit the person to the role that is best suited for him/her and implement through various HR processes. Even though many firms practice a half yearly or yearly appraisal process, they ensure that the communication and feedback mechanisms are in place. At any given point, every manager should know how their team member is doing and every member should know how they are performing. Every manager is mandated to have a one-on-one interaction with their direct reports, at least once a month and a few managers do it on a weekly basis.
In spite of all these efforts, if an employee continues to perform poorly, then a firm is left with no choice but to ask him / her to leave. This also sends out the message that the organization has a zero tolerance level towards poor performance. But in most cases, with proper training and guidance, a non performer can turn out to be a top performer. Some of best employees, were considered weak performers when they joined us. Some learned on the job others took on roles that suited them better and few found self motivation and self confidence that they lacked during their academic days. Most importantly, such initiatives in the organization boosts employee morale and motivates employees as they are sure of getting support from the firm in overcoming occasional huddles in their career path.