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The Champion Forum Podcast

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Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! One of the challenges in leadership is identifying the root cause of poor performance. At its root, poor performance can fall into two main categories: 1) the employee won’t do the job or task, or 2) the employee can’t do the job or task. If you fail to identify the real issue, you will waste valuable time and resources pursuing the wrong solution. Can’t Do: Often, when an employee can’t do their job, it is the leader’s fault. To correct this problem, the leader usually needs to invest time, money, or other resources. Discipline will not help an employee who is being asked to perform a task without the proper resources. Here are some reasons an employee might not be able to do their job. 1) They were never trained properly. Leaders are responsible for making sure that new hires are trained. Pay attention during the interview process, and make a plan to ensure each employee gets the on-the-job training they need to be successful. 2) Not having the adequate tools or equipment to do the job. Leaders must stay on top of equipment needs and have a plan in place to ensure it is available and functioning correctly. 3) Being understaffed. When you simply do not have enough people to complete the work that needs to be done, you are setting your team up to fail. Remember that due to demand, your employees might perform well most of the time but struggle when demand increases. Have a plan for when this happens, or you will frustrate your customers and employees. 4) There is a lack of communication. Make sure that there is a clear understanding of who communicates with each employee. If an employee is receiving either no direction or multiple directions from different people, they will be ineffective. Clarify your communication structure, and make it a part of your Standard Operating Procedure. Q: Have you ever worked for an understaffed organization? How did it affect your productivity? Did you feel that you were able to voice your concerns? What do you think could have been done to correct the problem? Q: Of the other issues, which ones have you experienced? Which one has been the most detrimental, in your experience? As a leader, which area do you feel that you need to work on with your employees? Won’t Do: These scenarios can be corrected with discipline or avoided by making modifications to your hiring process. Regardless of the reason why, it is crucial that you address any “won’t do” attitude quickly, or it will negatively affect your entire organization. Here are some possible reasons and employees won’t do their work. 1) They may be lazy. 2) They don’t want to do the job. Q: What kinds of questions do you think that you can ask during the hiring process to avoid these issues? What can you do if you recognize these issues after you have already hired a person? What can you do to confirm that this is the issue before you have a disciplinary conversation? When you recognize that an employee is not meeting your expectations, you need to invest in understanding why. Making this determination will give you the best odds of increasing the productivity of your people and safeguarding your leadership brand. Application Activities:

  1. Look at your budget. What proportion is allocated to employee training and ongoing education? How is that proportion being spent? Do the resources benefit everyone or only one or two individuals? Consider if you should make adjustments to the way your money is allocated and whether or not you should ask for more funds to increase your employee’s ability to do their jobs.

  2. Ask your employees what they need from you to do their jobs efficiently. Ask each of them to come up with a dream list of resources including tools, courses, or conferences, and try to get them at least one of the resources on that list within the next few months. Showing your employees that you are invested in their development will help them stay motivated and productive.

  3. Look through your past exit interviews. Did any past employees give feedback on your training process? Did any past employees reference needing more resources than the company was providing? Take this feedback into consideration as you review your hiring and training process. Changing your approach can help prevent performance issues before they happen.

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APRIL 23, 2020


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