Under-performing employees need to be made aware of their lack of performance or unacceptable performance. Mentoring and coaching are a reasonable response. If the employee just doesn’t improve or refuses to meet expectations, the ultimate weapon has to be dismissal.
Time to Let Go
Dismissal of someone you and your staff may have worked with over any period of time, long or short, distant or local, is never easy. Trade secrets, business practices, and their skills and expertise will be lost forever. Work load has to be shifted, sometimes onto the manager depending on the number of available resources. This shifting of work will affect the performance of all other staff, possibly raising the stress levels beyond breaking points for some. The cascading effects of removing someone from your staff can be enormous… if there’s no plan in place. You can have a plan!
Planning for this contingency, being prepared before and after to work with all affected employees, and customers in some cases, is the only way to smooth out the transition.
More work for you, more work piled onto others already possibly complaining of the load… your job is to release the tension, smooth the waters, mitigate the effects as much as possible, and keep business as usual.
Your options may be limited, but find out what you can do. A little more budget for team building? A new hire in the future? Bonus or overtime for meeting performance goals? Additional vacation time? Bring in some lunches? Take them out for team meetings? Staff BBQ?
It’s no surprise to see people stressed if there is no plan in place, no options out of the extra loads, no end in sight, no bonus for the extra hours.
Be proactive, keep everyone you can involved. Plan ahead. You’re the leader they want to follow, that smiles when they need a smile, and listens whenever they speak.
But be strong when you need to cut adrift the weak link.