How do I manage employee non-compliance?

Face it head-on.

Compliance Conversations

Leaders engage in many types of professional conversations with employees. Some of these conversations are formative and designed to help employees improve job performance. These conversations involve coaching and collaborative dialogue, in which the employee is an active participant. Other conversations are summative, evaluative, and designed to inform employees of a performance rating at the end of a year or period of time. One of the most important roles a leader plays is helping employees improve performance and it’s important not to delay these conversations.

One challenge leaders face when helping employees improve performance is the determination of what is causing the lack of performance or low performance. Leaders must decide if the level of performance is due to a lack of “will” to perform at a higher level or a lack of “skill” on the part of the employee. Think of “will” as the ability to comply with expectations, policies, core values, standards of behavior, etc., while “skill” is the capacity to perform technical aspects of a particular job. Leaders can take action and lead employees to improve “will” or “skill” and to be successful. It’s important for leaders to determine what is causing unsatisfactory performance and to conduct productive conversations with employees that lead to improved performance or an exit from the organization. In particular, conversations with employees about lack of compliance (the will to follow organizational procedures, policies, standards, core values) require a specific skill set on the part of leaders. Developing skill in having non-compliance conversations is key to effective leadership, and building “will” along with “skill” among employees leads to organizational results.
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