How Can You Proactively Manage “Ineffective” Employees?

Whether you manage permanent employees, workers from temp employment agencies, or some of both, ensuring that your team is as effective and efficient as possible is a must. While the majority of your workforce likely meets or exceeds expectations, on occasion, you’re almost guaranteed to encounter a challenging employee who isn’t measuring up.

While it may be tempting to chastise or terminate the worker, that isn’t always ideal. By proactively managing the ineffective employee instead, you may be able to turn things around. If you don’t know where to begin, here are some tips that can help.

Have a Meaningful One-on-One Conversation

Whenever an employee is struggling, your first step should be to schedule a one-on-one private conversation. With that, you have a platform for presenting your concerns and create an opportunity to identify the root cause of the issue.

If you don’t find out why the worker is failing to flourish, you can’t come up with appropriate corrective actions. That’s why an open and honest conversation is so vital.

As you speak, make sure to focus on facts. Give clear examples of where the employee fell short without being insulting. Additionally, make it clear that you want to find a solution, and work with them to determine what approach may be best.

Review the Job Description and Set Clear Expectations

At times, employees struggle because they aren’t entirely sure about the nature of their role or what they need to accomplish. If you find that a worker isn’t delivering, taking a moment to review their job description with them can be a smart move. It allows you to ensure they fully understand the nature of their position, giving them space to ask questions if there is any ambiguity.

After that, by setting clear expectations, you provide them with valuable information. You’re giving them well-defined targets, making it easy to understand where priorities lie and what they need to achieve.

Provide Training Opportunities to Boost Their Capabilities

If the employee is ineffective not because they are intentionally neglecting their responsibilities but because their skill set is lacking, consider giving them access to training. This could include formal courses, a mentorship arrangement, or instruction from a team member who excels in that area.

With this approach, you’re giving the struggling employee a chance to improve. If they are passionate and willing to learn, this could turn things around with surprising speed.

Follow-Up Regularly to Monitor Progress

Once the employee starts working toward improving, touch base frequently. While you don’t want to hover, you do want to keep tabs on the situation. That way, you can note their progress, celebrate improvements, and ensure they remain on target.

If their effectiveness increases, then you may be able to reduce the check-ins over time. However, if all of your joint efforts aren’t leading to an improvement, you may have to determine if they are capable of thriving. If not, while it may be challenging, it’s possible that letting them go is necessary.

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