Turning Around Poor Performance

As I’ve mentioned several times before, networking on LinkedIn and Twitter has allowed me to talk to some truly amazing and inspirational people. Today, as I was thinking back on these particular individuals, one stood out in my mind. Over the course of the last few months, he has written so many supportive and encouraging messages to me in regard to my professional competency and my writing. In addition to his motivation, he has also shared some valuable insight in regard to his human resources experience and beliefs. Hearing some of Gio Branco’s whole-hearted values really helped restore my faith for human resource’s future.

As he partook in some of the discussions I had posted in the Linkedin:HR group, I learned he was a Human Resources Consultant. We talked more about his experience and beliefs and I felt that it was a breath of fresh air. I am positive that his clients appreciate his conviction and passion for HR.

As time went on, I saw that Gio also wrote some interesting blogs for his consulting business. Needless to say, I was intrigued to see what he had to say about different human resources topics. Recently,one blog post caught my attention. It discussed some of the reasons why employees perform poorly. Some of the common reasons he mentioned were as follows:

1. Lack of knowledge, skills or abilities.

2. Incorrect role expectations.

3. Lack of motivation.

4. Lack of resources.

5. Poor morale.

I have to agree with the points he made in this posting. A decent amount of times employees don’t perform poorly because they’re incapable of doing the job but because of other factors.

However, there is another thing to consider when it comes to poor performance: management’s role to help fix this situation before it costs the company business or an employee their job. In order to truly assess the situation and determine the best course of action, a manager needs to provide feedback. I feel that one of the biggest mistakes a company can make is to only provide feedback in bi-annually or yearly performance reviews. At that point, the damage is already done. It is imperative that managers give regular feedback to employees and create an environment in which employees feel like they can openly express concerns, issues, or suggestions. Managers may fight that they are too busy to take the time to do this, but if they did it from the start then they wouldn’t be busy putting out fires caused by poor performers. Being proactive will help your business and your employees in the long-run.

One of the best experiences I’ve had in my working career is when I worked for a company in which managers gave me feedback on a weekly and/or monthly basis. These one-on-one feedback sessions helped me learn the areas I could work on and also gave me resources to do better. Most importantly, these sessions helped me learn my weak areas immediately and allowed me to fix the problem before it became a habit. Providing regular feedback can help resolve the areas that Gio had mentioned. Additionally, it can do the following:

  • Allow your employees to fix problems before it becomes a regular occurrence.
  • Ensure that senior employees don’t set a bad example for new employees.
  • Increase morale.
  • Reduce the issues that the company would need to spend time, money, and energy to fix.
  • Cut the costs that would incur if the company had to terminate a poor performer.
  • Cut the costs to hire and train someone new to fill the terminated employee’s spot.
  • Empower employees to be proactive, accountable, and responsible.
  • Allow employees feel like the company is invested in their professional growth which could make them want to be more dedicated and committed to doing a good job.
  • Create a better employee and customer experience.
  • Help a company learn that weak points may be in the structure and training, not the employee.

I literally could go on and on about the importance of providing regular feedback. There are so many benefits, both short-term and long-term. What I know is that the feedback sessions I received from my manager allowed me to professionally grow. I soon became one of the most efficient and accurate employees in the department. I was proud of what I did. This also empowered me to have more time and knowledge to spot weak areas in the company’s processes and suggest ways on how to fix them. With that being said, helping me allowed me to help them in return.

You don’t need to have poor performers in your company, but in order to reduce that you must invest time to provide the necessary feedback to help them turn around their performance.

Links:

Gio’s post about poor performance.

Gio Branco Consulting

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Will Your Company Benefit from Social Media?

Recently I was involved in a discussion regarding social media in the workplace. Different individuals in this discussion had debated whether or not using social media would be beneficial or counter-productive. Although I do agree that some organizations wouldn’t find social media helpful, there are plenty of other companies that could use it as a useful tool. Today’s post will help educate companies on how social media can be functional.

The individuals debating that social media would be counter-productive mainly thought that it was only for personal use. They wondered how “gossip” or quirky status updates would help and believed that this would distract employees from doing their jobs. Although those are true points, there are also different social media sites that are geared towards business use. For example, Work Simple, Salesforce, and Yammer are three companies that come to mind.

If utilized properly, social media could be beneficial to companies for the following reasons:

Collaboration is easier. Technology is allowing businesses to be able to reach audiences on a global scale. To be able to keep up with this: employees are now available around the world; are working remotely while traveling; or are working different shifts to be accessible to all time zones. If all employees can’t participate in business meetings, it can be very hard for teams to effectively work together. Social media can allow employees to collaborate at any time and in any location so no one ends up missing out.

Employees get more exposure to executives and managers. Social media allows managers, HR, and executives to easily see which employees are influential. Many employees can have a hard time proving they are worthy of a promotion or raise. This tool will allow management to see employees’ documented efforts. It will display their progression and contributions in a way that validates their eligibility for promotion or rewards. It is a social recognition and performance management tool.

It can increase employee engagement. Social media can empower employees by giving them a voice. Additionally, having a tool that keeps a record of employees’ suggestions or ideas can make them become accountable for following through.

It can allow employees to communicate in a way that creates a solid community within the organization. Employees might work in different departments, locations, or time zones. Or, employees might work in a role that has them strapped to a desk or on the road. With those being realistic factors, employees can’t always converge in a way to get to know each other. Social media can allow employees to communicate throughout all levels of the business-spectrum. This is a team building tool that can create stronger cross-departmental teams and company community.

Employees will know who the correct point of contact is. I know I’ve wasted so much time trying to figure out who I need to contact for more information or assistance. This tool can allow employees know who does what in the business so they can get what they need faster. It can also help employees follow up easier by letting them to see who else was working on a project/task. This feature permits them to contact that person for clarification, status updates, or help. Pictures can also help employees put a name and job function to a face.

It can encourage learning and development. Employees can connect with others throughout the company and set up mentoring sessions. Additionally, this can be used as a knowledge base in which employees can find information faster so they can do their job more efficiently or help customers quicker. In addition to this, those using the tool can expose other users to helpful information by posting useful resources, invites to webinars, and so on.

It is a brainstorming tool. Great ideas don’t always get formulated right away. Discussion boards can be used as brainstorming meetings which will let employees provide thoughtful, innovative, and creative ideas when it comes to them. Having suggestions easily available can allow other members to jump in, build off of it, and develop it into something functional.

There are so many benefits to using business social media that I could go on and on about it. I feel that majority of companies could use it to their advantage if they utilize and customize it in a way that suits their industry, mission, and culture. Hopefully this information can open up minds to the endless possibilities that can come from using this tool.

If you want to read more about the benefits of business social media, please click on the following links:

Yammer-Business Benefits
Work Simple- Performance Management for Social Goals
Salesforce- The Social Enterprise Solution