The Difficult Conversation about Performance

Most workers abhor poor performance (at least, the poor performance of their co-workers).  More significantly, so do most managers. 

But tackling poor performance requires having difficult conversations about work standards, and many managers prefer to avoid it.In How to… address poor performance, published in the UK magazine, People Management, author Kate Russell explains why “Avoiding difficult conversations about work standards can demotivate other staff.”Although many have written about the issue of confronting poor performance, what sets this article apart is that it addresses the issue from the perspective of the other employees.At the least, these other employees might feel that the poor performer is being appraised against an easier set of performance criteria than they are.

At the most, these other employees depend on their poor-performing co-workers to accomplish their jobs, and the failure of the manager to confront the issue prevents these workers from performing at their best.

Russell offers specific suggestions for preparing for the conversation about performance, conducting it and, most importantly, following up with coaching and feedback.

When a worker starts a job, a lack of ongoing coaching and feedback has the potential to reinforce and solidify poor performance.

And if the manager has effectively raised the concern about performance with the poor-performing worker, that workers needs the coaching and feedback to re-align his or her efforts with the manager’s.

Check out the article at:

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Exploring, reporting, teaching, and advising on learning and communication for the workplace and consumers.
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