Having the right team in place is essential to the success of any small business. But what do you do with the problem employee ï¿½ those who are unproductive or not meshing with your team? With unemployment still over 9%, you can adopt the ï¿½there are plenty of fish in the seaï¿½ approach and terminate said employee.
But Sharon M. Daniels, president and CEO of AchieveGlobal, a human resources consulting firm, cautions against that mindset. ï¿½The business reason is itï¿½s hard to go out and expensive to recruit new talent,ï¿½ she asserts. ï¿½And legally you can get yourself into trouble as an organization if managers arenï¿½t appropriately handling these situations.ï¿½ She also cites the impact on morale and productivity when thereï¿½s a revolving door of new workers. With that said, Daniels refers to a three-step process to determine if a problem employee can be re-focused for the betterment of the company.
Collect the background information. By information, Daniels means the first-hand facts, not happenstance or hearsay. ï¿½Really make certain that you truly understand the problem,ï¿½ she says. ï¿½You have to go into this with the mindset that this individual has the opportunity to change.ï¿½ Daniels cautions against going into the process with the intent to fire the employee after finishing a checklist. She says the confidence in leadership grows when they see management take consistent steps and going into it with a good, positive frame of mind. She also recommends making certain that you can articulate what the challenges are with the employee and how theyï¿½re impacting the business.
Have the conversation. This is where you demonstrate a lot of patience and good active listening by allowing the employee to share his or her perspective with you ï¿½ why this may be happening, what training they might not have had, how they may have been informed differently about something that was a priority. ï¿½This is the step where you really create that partnership by listening to that person to truly understand whatï¿½s getting in the way from their perspective,ï¿½ she says.
Put together an action plan. Once youï¿½ve ensured the person is not in denial and they truly understand what the impact is, turn it into action by creating milestones. That will inform you if this person is a viable candidate to continue on in the role of it itï¿½s time to part ways. ï¿½When you set out the plan you have to set out in your mind and agree with the employee whatï¿½s a fair time for this to manifest itself as improved or not improved.ï¿½