Skip to content

April 7, 2014

Discussing Problem Behaviors for Improvement

Dealing with employee performance issues is one of your most challenging tasks, yet it is important to respond quickly when problem behaviors affect productivity. Often, employees don’t realize how their behavior affects their work and the team, but can quickly turn things around when they realize the impact.shutterstock_119137843

Here are some tips for addressing problem behaviors with employees that will set them on the path toward improvement.

  • Get Ready

Once you have identified a performance issue, examine the situation to discover the cause of the problem. Is there an attendance issue, does the employee require additional training, and has this situation occurred in the past? With this information in mind, you will be ready to set a time and place for a formal discussion regarding the behavior.

  • Meet with the Employee

Begin the discussion by acknowledging the employee’s contributions to the team and validate the importance of his or her work. Then, state the problem in clear terms and explain how the behavior is affecting the team. Remain calm and avoid emotional statements, especially if the employee becomes defensive. Keep the employee focused on the behavior that is negatively affecting his or her work performance.

  • Provide an Action Plan

Before ending the discussion, put an action plan in place that outlines what steps the employee will take to improve. Include training classes, mentoring, and additional monitoring, if necessary. Finally, establish a clear time line for each step that needs to be completed, your expectations for results, and any consequences for noncompliance. Make it clear that the main goal is to ensure a productive work environment for everyone.

  • Document and Follow Up

Document the discussion, so patterns can be identified if the problem recurs. Be sure to follow up with the employee according to the time line in the action plan and offer support.

When problem behaviors in the workplace are handled quickly and effectively, the employee’s work performance can show signs of improvement almost immediately. Be sure to acknowledge positive changes and offer support to continue to build a solid track record of improvement. By being proactive and handling problem behaviors early on, you can maintain the efficiency of your department and help your team be positively productive.  (See my blog post Help Your Employees to Soar in 2014 for more information.)

Read more from Uncategorized

Comments are closed.