Hi my name is Glenn and I am a recovering “glass half empty-aholic.” I have worked diligently over time to change my outlook. I have been very successful, but at times I still fall back to focus on what did not work versus what did work.
I bring this up because lately I have been confronted with management continuing to find only fault without applauding any success. Business leaders, who live in the 30-day cycle, quickly forget what someone did for the last three months as soon as they have a bad month.
We are all guilty at one time or another of not praising our employees. There are studies stating that successful companies praise their employees four times as much as they deliver negative feedback.
What would your ratio be? Mine is three and climbing. It is not easy but you have to remind yourself to compliment people when you can.
If I tasked everyone who reads this to find something positive to say to each of your employees this week, I bet you could. If I tasked you to do it each day, you may think I am crazy, but you could do it.
Even saying, “thanks for getting that report on time, it helped me,” is enough.
I’m not sure why management feels it is necessary to only focus on flaws. Do a great job and it is expected. Miss a goal by a bit and it is the end of the world.
Now you may think I am exaggerating, but if you thought about it, you can all picture someone from past work experiences that may be the person I described above. That person may even be you.
It is time to understand that learning is a process. I know some of my fellow performance consultants in the industry are getting their responses set, “if you miss sales goals, it is your own fault,” “hitting goals means a winner, anything else is a loser.”
I am not saying management condones incompetence. What I am saying is that if you have a salesperson or employee who HAS been successful and then they begin to miss goals, there is a reason and YOU as management need to get in there and help them figure it out. Telling them to “pick up their numbers” does nothing to help them.
3 Ways to Turn Around Performance
- Have the person walk you through what they have been currently doing in detail. Compare that to the process they were doing when they were successful and see where the difference is.
- Engage them in a discussion of why they changed behavior. Point out how the new behavior is not getting results and get them focused on the behavior that was successful.
- Follow up repeatedly over the next few days and weeks to make sure they are back on track.
It is a small investment of your time but it will have great impact. It is cheaper to get in and re-train someone than it is to hire someone new.
Finally, if the employee continues to not put in the correct effort, then they are putting you in a position to document their poor performance and escalate disciplinary action until they no longer are a part of your team.
I have seen many more successful turnarounds than I have seen terminations if the management lends a hand. It builds morale that you are there for your team and you are willing to roll your sleeves up and help.
Let me know your thoughts.