Situation: A company hired an employee one year ago. The employee is competent but slow. Even after a year on the job, other employees with similar skills and experience are able to complete the same job three times faster. What is the best way to handle this? How do you set expectations for an employee?
Advice from the CEOs:
- The most important principle governing situations like this is clarity of communications. You must clearly express your expectations, and you must assure that the employee clearly understands your expectations.
- Assure that expectations are clearly expressed. This means what you expect in terms of performance, and firm timelines for achieving minimum requirements. You also must assure that the employee understands the consequences for failing to meet minimum requirements. The best assurance is written confirmation that the employee understands what is expected.
- Don’t be vague or nice about your expectations, performance requirements or the consequences for failing to meet minimum requirements. This risks sending the wrong message to the employee.
- Put the employee on a performance improvement plan to meet minimum job requirements. Monitor and document for 30-60 days and then handle according to how the employee responds.
- If the individual can’t meet the objective, but has potential value to the company, offer the person an appropriate position at the level that the new position pays.
- Have a second person in the room when you deliver the message. If you determine that you have to terminate the employee and the employee elects to sue, this will help your case in a judicial action.