Archive | February, 2012

How Employees Fail #8: Troublesome

28 Feb

The other major category of problem employees is troublesome. Typical behaviors such as anger, cynicism, complaining, blaming and avoiding responsibility disrupt the workplace. Co-workers often dislike them.  In general, these people will consume large amounts of manager time.

Fortunately only a small proportion of people in the workplace are troublesome.  However with poor management, workplaces can become produce large numbers of troubled and troublesome employees and become toxic..

Working with troublesome people demands that you be very planful and systematic is your actions.  It is people such as these that policies for managing employees such as progressive counseling (progressive discipline exist.

The purpose of progressive counseling is three fold:

  1. To assure the organization that people are treated fairly.
  2. To create a escalating plan of action for managers.
  3. To make is explicit to employees that their behavior must change

Next week: Beginning progressive counseling.

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How Employees Fail #7: Troubled

22 Feb

 

In general non-performers group into two categories:  Troubled and troublesome.  Want to see a troubled employee? Look in the mirror.  During your career, perhaps multiple times, an issue at work (bad boss, market changes, poor job fit, etc.) or at home (illness, divorce,, becoming a parent, stress etc.) will have an impact on your performance.

 

A troubled employee is a performer at a bad time in their lives.  These people deserve your very best counseling.  A turn around here is a big win for everyone. Remember:

How you treat a troubled employee will be interpreted as how you will treat other employees in a bad patch.

This is where you must be most adept at coaching/counseling and where you should err on being “soft.”

 

 

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

How Employees Fail #6: Begin by……

14 Feb

If you rank order your direct reports from best to worst, (you may want to do this with your peers, but give careful consideration to the why & how of doing so) notice they group into at least three categories based on our criteria: Excellent performers, good to very good performers and people with issues.

Before you begin working with this group you must have solid counseling and feedback skills.

When working with people to influence change, please remember:

Change imposed is change opposed.

Ask yourself this question

          Am I doing this with them or to them? 

Your approach/style will impact the probable outcome.  Always begin “soft” and be prepared to become “hard.”

As in

“let me work with you on this.”

to

“You must improve or there will be consequences.”

You must be prepared to work in this range.

Next week let’s define the two main types of problem employees.

There are a couple of ways that people can subscribe to this blog. Click the “+ Follow” link on the bottom right section of the site and enter your email address. This is a very easy way to receive the newest post as an email. The other way is via RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed. The RSS Feed link is located on the right sidebar of the site, directly above the Categories section. Click on “RSS – Posts” to receive your posts in their favorite RSS reader. The RSS reader that many prefer is Google Reader (http://reader.google.com). It is free, well organized, and easy to use.

How Employees Fail #5: Not Playing well with Others

8 Feb

Competence, Integrity and People skill are the three predictors of positive performance in the workplace.  Of the three, most people problems will be with those who don’t play well with others.  These range from poor attendance to screaming and shouting and are the most difficult to address and solve.  Many high performance organizations practice the following principle:

• Hire for attitude        

because they have learned that people with bad attitudes cause most of the problems in the workplace.

An attitude is a combination of thoughts, feelings and actions.  Most people can spot a bad “attitude” pretty quickly.

Consider your direct reports and rank order them from best to worst using the above criteria.  Next week we will talk about how to use this tool to identify and initiate tactics to manage problem people.

To read more about problem people goto: Beyond Luck, click on review the book and scroll to:  The Basics of an Effective Management Style.  The list of difficult behaviors is useful when considering the people at the bottom of your rank ordering.

How Employees Fail #4: Deciding To Fire

1 Feb

Separating a person from their job is a difficult decision and a test of your management skills.  When I began consulting, I often coached people who had involuntarily lost their jobs.  It was not a pleasant experience.  What always bewildered me was most of them never saw it coming.  This is what turned a bad experience into to a train wreck.

The decision to terminate employment is always a difficult one.  You must act to protect yourself from the emotional effects of this action by assuring that it was carried out in a thoughtful and respectful manner.

Remember:

As a manager it is your responsibility to act in the best interests of the company.

Frame it this manner:

  1. List all the stakeholders (the person, you, co-workers, the company etc.) and their stakes in this action.
  2. Build a T-chart of the pros and cons for termination.
  3. Ask yourself, is this a legitimate action?
  4. Are you making this decision with your head, not your heart?

Decide and make it happen. (later in this series we will spend time on the actual mechanics).

Next week: What to do with people who don’t play well with others.