Having the right team in place is essential to the success of any small business. But what do you do with the problem employee � those who are unproductive or not meshing with your team? With unemployment still over 9%, you can adopt the �there are plenty of fish in the sea� approach and terminate said employee.
But Sharon M. Daniels, president and CEO of AchieveGlobal, a human resources consulting firm, cautions against that mindset. �The business reason is it�s hard to go out and expensive to recruit new talent,� she asserts. �And legally you can get yourself into trouble as an organization if managers aren�t appropriately handling these situations.� She also cites the impact on morale and productivity when there�s 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. �Really make certain that you truly understand the problem,� she says. �You have to go into this with the mindset that this individual has the opportunity to change.� 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 they�re 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 � 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. �This is the step where you really create that partnership by listening to that person to truly understand what�s getting in the way from their perspective,� she says.
Put together an action plan. Once you�ve 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 it�s time to part ways. �When you set out the plan you have to set out in your mind and agree with the employee what�s a fair time for this to manifest itself as improved or not improved.�