Dealing with employee performance problems is a fact of life for business owners, human resources professionals and managers. On Warren & Associates’ blog, attorney Sindy Warren discusses two guiding principles to follow when handling potential issues.
Don’t expect your workers to be mind readers, says Warren. Even if you believe that the problem is thoroughly obvious, it’s important to let the worker know he or she is not meeting your expectations. After all, she notes, people can’t improve if they don’t know there is anything wrong.
In addition, Warren says open communication prevents, or at least mitigates, a situation in which the employee later argues the performance concern was just a pretext for a hidden motive like discrimination.
Warren says anytime an owner/manager has a conversation with an employee about work duties, it must be put in writing. She says it doesn’t have to be a formal part of a personnel file, but the documentation should be clear and concise so that if a judge or jury were looking at it, they would understand your concerns and the need to address them.
Warren says if employers follow these two concepts consistently, it will save time, money and stress in the long run. However, she points out that managers must be trained to keep these principles in mind.