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Hidden Reasons For Poor Performance Part 2
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This is part 2 of my reasons for poor performance.

When faced with poor performance, a lot of managers opt to eliminate the employee in question rather than to eliminate the reasons behind the performance. Many managers wrongly blame poor performance on lack of motivation or on a poor hiring selection by the company. But, in reality, the majority of performance problems are caused by poor management – not bad employees. The next time you feel ready to run an employee out the door, make sure that you’re not the problem. Use the following checklist to identify nonperformance issues:

They anticipate the negative consequences for doing it. This occurs when an employee thinks there will be a negative consequence to them for performing appropriately, but there is none. Manager will state this reason for nonperformance. At times, people don’t do what they a suppose to do because they anticipate a negative consequence. Examples of this are: “I was afraid to ask a question in the meeting because I though it might be a dumb question”, “I was afraid to tell you I didn’t know how to do the job because you might think I am too stupid to do the job”, or “I was afraid to try what I thought was better way because if it didn’t work I would really be in trouble”.

Solution: If there are no negative consequences for the things you want your employees to do, explain that to them. This is why orientation is one of the most important part of an employees job. They will know how the game is played in your organization. Let them know it’s okay to argue with the boss, no question is the one not asked, you don’t punish employees for failure when they are trying to help you.

There is no negative consequence to them for poor performance. Do you have an employee who does not follow procedures? Maybe you inherited the employee or the employee has been around for so long that he or she has never faced a negative consequence because upper management didn’t want to rock the boat? If you answered yes, you have a non performing employee because, there is no negative consequence to them for poor performance.

Solution: You as the manager must get involved and put a stop to the poor performance right away. The employee also needs to know that your organization does not tolerate poor performance and there will be consequences for bad performing employees. When they know the consequences it will be no surprise to them when you take action. They will have know it was coming.

Obstacles beyond their control. This means there are real barriers preventing an employee from performing the job you want them to do. Unfortunately, when employees tell the boss about an obstacle getting in their way, the boss’s first response is to accuse the employees of just giving excuses or having a poor attitude.

Solution: Listen to the employee and get involved with their work. If there is an obstacle remove it. It’s as simple as that.

Their personal limits prevent them from performing. Personal limits means individual physical limits that are unchangeable and are in fact preventing job performance. If a job required someone who was not color blind and the employee is color blind then that would be a personal limit.

Solution: Accept the fact that when you are talking about personal limits, you are talking about an individual’s capacity. “Capacity” is defined in psychology as the highest level of performance the individual can achieve. “Capacity” is different from “ability”, which is a function of learning.

Personal problems. Now we come to the big one. This is probably the biggest reason for non performing employees. Managers vary from the extremes of playing marriage counselor, confessor, parent, psychologist, and money lender to being judge and executioner. This take a lot of time and sometimes nothing works.

Solution: Never offer advice. Remember unless you are trained as some sort of counselor your job is to listen. You are a manager. Your job is to be understanding and find ways to make the employees job easier at work, thus reducing some stress in their life. When employees have stress in their life they are looking for a little relief from someone. Just letting them know that their job will be secure is something they need and will help them get their work done.

Preventing poor performance. This is what you are paid to do as a manager. When your supervising people you need to get a job done. You need to get that job done through other people. You have seen the reasons why employees don’t do what they are suppose to do. It’s your job to keep them on the right rack and steer them right if they go astray.


Street Talk

Sam T - Well done. Yes, poor job performance is too often a product of poor management. Darryl K. Henderson, J.D.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I agree that management is responsible for a full, compassionate understanding of problems before deciding they're due to willful poor performance on an employee's part. On the other hand what you say is overly simplified. People are complicated, especially their attitudes, habits and behaviors with regard to authority. I would love to have your feedback on my two-part article: "When Good Employees Go Bad". Thanks!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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