It’s never easy to confront an employee whose performance is slipping or simply not up to par.
Confrontation can be necessary, even kind. Everybody makes mistakes, and the important thing is to help this person avoid making them over and over.
Here are six ways to prep yourself for confronting an underachiever:
- Prepare. How will you get ready to sit down with this employee?
- Describe. What exactly is the unacceptable behavior?
- Express. What are your thoughts about this? Who is it hurting, how and why?
- Suggest. Lay out the new behavior and outcomes you need. Make them plain. Write them down.
- Explain. What are the benefits to your employee of altering his or her behavior? Benefits may include learning new skills, avoiding probation and keeping the job.
- Ask. How will you ask for a commitment and hold the person accountable? You’ll need to include benchmarks and deadlines, both near- and long-term. The upcoming weeks and months are critical and should include feasible goals.
— Adapted from Conversations for Change, Shawn Kent Hayashi, McGraw-Hill.