What should you do when you have a performance issue with a team member?

Posted on by Nancy Slessenger This entry was posted in Behaviour, Difficult Situations, Leaderhip skills, Measuring performance, Performance Management. Bookmark the permalink.


Poor Performance

Jim came on one of my Leadership Skills training courses. He came across as a lovely, kind manager. He had a difficult situation to deal with. He recounted a horror story to us of a feckless and lazy team member, Tony, who was clocking huge numbers of extra hours and not achieving anything.
I suggested he did some research to find out what was going on.


He came back for module two of the course looking embarrassed.
He had done the research. It turned out that he had leant Tony to a colleague for some work that he understood to be half a day a week. This had turned out to be four and a half days a week. Not only that but it was on another site 25 miles away. Tony had been diligently travelling back to his normal office every evening and trying to keep up with his day job.

Always check the facts first

Jim was devastated. How could he have said such awful things about Tony, when the poor man was working so hard and trying to do his best in very difficult circumstances?
It had all happened because the ‘half-day’ of work had turned out to be much more complicated than anyone realized and no one had communicated with anyone else on it.

Always Check

Jim had been busy himself and had not checked, and Tony had not had any time to tell his manager and had assumed that he knew what was going on.

It’s Not Always That Simple…

I’m not saying that every poor performance issue is this simple to resolve, but what I have found over many years of working on these issues is that many are due to poor communications and a little bit of research will often reveal that there is simply a misunderstanding.
The first step is always to check what is going on.

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