Delivering Bad News Tactfully and Effectively
Managing underperformance can prove to be an exceedingly stressful and daunting task (McLelland, 2005). As the department manager in a mid-sized technology company I have received numerous complaints from both coworkers and customers about a certain employee who is not performing to the standards expected. Moreover, this specific employee has brought about a hostile working environment since he has shown confrontational behavior. As the department manager I have to meet up with him so as to deliver an ultimatum on whether the employee will immediately improve his conduct or face immediate dismissal.
As I approach him, I will first look for examples of instances where the employee has performed poorly as this will later help in making the discussion about their underperformance easier. Being able to present evidence will give me useful mechanism when explaining to him what is acceptable and what is not. Evidence can be collected in a number of ways; testimonies from other employees and customers, physical evidence or documentary evidence such as CCTV footage, timesheets and many more (McLelland, 2005). As I then approach him, I will select a private venue that is free from any distractions while at the same time not intimidating. Secondly I would make the employee feel at ease by talking in an open and friendly way, this way he will be able to open up and tell me the reason for his sudden change of job performance. I will use open-ended questions so that he will be able to explain himself. Judging from the reason he gives me for his underperformance, I will be able to make out the next course of action. Nevertheless, I will have to be firm about dismissal should the underperformance continue since it will make the company suffer.
As the department manager I will have to anticipate any response from this employee; reasons ranging from personal issues to hostile working conditions. Should the employee’s response for his substandard performance be because they are facing challenges with working with a certain employee(s) in his department which therefore, makes him feel that he does not have a conducive environment for working since he and the other employee are always colliding and not Seeing Eye to eye, I will have to come up with a good strategy to ensure the two do not work in the same department. However, should the employee state his reason as being personal or family related, I might consider giving him time off to sort out his issues so that he will come back to work with the zeal and passion to work to the highest performance levels.
Conflict resolution means having to looks for strategies that will bring a favorable working environment for all so as to achieve maximum performance levels for each and every employee (Brett, 2011). Therefore, in light of this particular case, conflict resolution will mean taking drastic measures. If after listening to the employee and finding that he does not have a valid reason for his sub-standard work and causing conflict at work, I will have to dismiss him from work immediately as if this issue is not dealt with, and the underperforming employee keeps working at this company, things will turn from bad to worse, thus affecting the success of the company. Nevertheless, if the employee decides to immediately reform, will give him a second chance but monitor him closely.
Brett, Lorna. (2011). Tips to manage underperforming employees. Retrieved on 2nd October 2012
McLelland, R. (2005). How to manage underperforming employees. Retrieved on 2nd October