Situation: A company has a long-term clerical employee. While this individual has handled a wide range of responsibilities, they have not significantly grown their skills even though cumulative yearly pay raises put this individual on the higher end of the company pay scale. Increasingly, the individual is refusing to do work requested. In your experience, what can the CEO do to get this individual back on track?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Recently the CEO hired a personal assistant. The position was offered to the individual in question but declined because of hours and expectations. The personal assistant has supplanted much of the contribution that this individual historically made to the company. They are likely hurt by the resulting reduction in their role. This may explain the refusal to do certain tasks that used to be routine.
- To have the best chance of recovering this individual, it is important that your approach be positive, not punitive.
- Instead of going over performance variances in your next review, bring the individual into your office and let them know that “we need you.” Present a vision of the company and its future growth. If the individual shows a willingness to turn around, take them into your confidence and show them your plans. Ask them what role they see for themselves in the organization chart.
- Simultaneously, be frank. The company has changed and is poised for growth that was not possible two years ago. Tell the person you want them on the team and set forth long-term goals. Establish and agree on objectives for 90 days and measure from this meeting forward.
- Either the individual will rise to the challenge or will let you know within the 90 days that the company is no longer the place for them.
- The key point is that this must be a caring and heartfelt discussion.
- Analyze how this situation arose so that it isn’t repeated with other employees.
- Hire for both current skills and the potential for growth. Develop new and existing staff in line with plans for growth. This is how you achieve extraordinary results with ordinary people.
Key Words: Team, Long-term, Employee, Growth, Responsibilities, Change, Review, Role, Objectives, Goals, Selection, Educational assistance