Sometimes, employees run into issues. They may look good on their resume but start the job and can’t keep up. Something may have happened in their personal life that’s making it hard to focus. Or something could be happening in the workplace that is affecting their performance. Whatever it is, from time to time, you’ll encounter an employee who is struggling to keep their work done and stay on task.
As an employer, what can you do?
Find out what’s wrong
First, it’s a good idea to talk to the employee. Schedule time with them one-on-one and gently mention that you’ve noticed they seem to be having a hard time keeping up. Ask if there’s something you should know about or anything you can help them with. Be as kind and understanding as you can—empathy goes a long way in situations like these. Some people may feel defensive when their work ethic is being criticized, so you need to always approach the situation as someone who cares and wants to help.
Problems with work
Maybe the employee is being tasked with something they don’t quite understand and could use clarification or guidance. Offer to connect them with another employee who can explain how to complete a task or hook them up with a temporary on-the-job mentor until they feel more comfortable. Depending on the situation, they may be overworked, and in this case, you’ll need to reassign some work to help the employee remain productive. Talk it over and work together to reach a solution you can both agree on.
Problems at home
If the employee is having a difficult time at home, they may need someone to listen. There’s a fine line between remaining professional as a manager and lending an ear as a friend, so be aware of how you interact with an employee who is talking about their personal life. If you feel uncomfortable but know they need someone to talk to, it always helps to offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for professional guidance. This is a valuable and confidential employee benefit that can help workers in need of support.
Problems with another worker
Employee conflicts are something you’ll want to address immediately with the people involved. Plan to speak with each one individually and get everyone’s side of the story. Then, bring all the involved employees together to agree to a solution to the situation.
If workplace harassment is occurring, zero tolerance is the best policy. Know when to involve human resources to resolve any situations that are upsetting your workers and causing their focus and productivity to dip.
Get advice when you need it
If you work with a staffing agency, your recruiter is a good source of advice for an underperforming worker. Talk to your recruiter when you have concerns and need support..
In search of new workers?
Maybe your current staff are overworked and in need of some relief! And if so, it can help to bring on additional employees to help shoulder the workload. Tri-Starr Group will work with you to understand your staffing needs and find new workers who fit. To learn more, contact us today!