HOLD AN EMPLOYEE CONFERENCE
The exchange of experiences is important as regards continuous improvements and general motivation in the firm. An employee's poor job performance can be improved with a simple meeting - if it is done with professionalism and sensitivity.
Importance of the conference:
- Employees should be given the opportunity at the conference to discuss the various areas they have dealt with and the suggestions they have made.
- The results of initiative (implemented suggestions) from earlier employee surveys can also be discussed at the conference.
Instructions preparing for the conference:
1. Write down specific concerns about the employee's performance. Include time, date, and what was done or not done to your satisfaction.
2. Review this employee's performance relative to his job description. Check that your assessment is fair and accurate.
3. Make sure that the employee has been adequately trained and that he understands his job description.
4. Be honest with yourself - have you contributed in any way to this employee's difficulties? If so, what can you do differently to improve the situation?
5. Determine whether this has been a problem employee from the beginning, or if this is a troubled employee who has had good work performance in the past.
6. Decide whether you want to help turn this employee around, or start the disciplinary process for firing him.
7. Read your company's written personnel policy procedures and be sure to follow company policies, if applicable.
8. Consult with your supervisor or a Human Resources representative before counseling any employee on a disciplinary manner.
The Conversation with the Employee
- Schedule a time that will allow for an uninterrupted conversation of at least 1/2 hour in a private place.
- If appropriate, give the employee ample warning about the meeting and the topic.
- Use a calm tone of voice and keep judgmental language out of the conversation. "You are not meeting our expected quota" is more tactful than "You are lazy."
- Explain your concerns clearly and discuss ways the employee can improve. Ask for his suggestions.
- Allow the employee a period of time to correct the behavior and let him know you will be meeting to assess the employee's progress.
- Ask the employee to give you his opinion, and listen to it. If the employee has valid excuses, and points out how others or the organization may be at fault, respond with empathy and concern.
- Have the employee sign paperwork - a plan of attack for improvement, or just a recap of the conversation - that indicates he understands the conversation, even if he doesn't agree with your opinion.