What Can I Say About a Team Member's Transition?
When the time comes to make the hard decision and remove an individual from the organization or the team, we recognize this transition has effects on other individuals in the organization. To avoid assumptions being made, rumors from spreading, or unnecessary concerns about job security, it's important for leaders to acknowledge the transition with their teams.
Treat all employees fairly and consistently
To show we have taken all the right steps to support an employee’s success, it’s necessary to document performance problems and conversations. This documentation may not only protect the organization in the case of a lawsuit, it ensures all employees are treated fairly and consistently.
How do you know it's time to let go?
As leaders we care about the individuals who make up our teams. However our reluctance to address low performers can actually be doing more harm than good for our teams. For an organization to become great, leaders need to dig deep, find the problems, who the problem people are, and address poor performance and/or behavior.
Let Service Standards Lead the Way
In this video, Dan explains how his human resources and leadership teams use their standards of service in their hiring and evaluations. When we use the standards of service excellence to evaluate potential candidates, we are more likely to hire a person aligned with our culture and committed to our values.
Motivate Colleagues to Grow & Improve
Moments to provide feedback aren't limited to leader-employee interactions, oftentimes it's necessary to deliver feedback to colleagues while working together. In this video, Mandy and Tatiana meet to discuss a project and engage in a collaborative feedback conversation with a positive outcome.
Positively Improve Performance
Think about the last time you received constructive criticism. Did it actually prompt you to change your behavior? Maybe not. Yet we know learning new skills and improving performance is something our peers and direct reports desire. The key is to reshape your feedback conversations to focus on achieving a positive outcome together.
"Here's what you should do..."
On the surface giving feedback seems simple; just tell someone what they did wrong and how to fix it. The problem is this type of constructive criticism rarely inspires improvement. The way we provide feedback makes a difference in how people receive and act on the feedback.
Become A Lighthouse for New Leaders
As you notice employees who are committed to your team, it's important to think about the future of the organization. Do you foresee any open leadership positions? How can you help develop the skills your aspiring leaders possess to fill any upcoming voids in the organization?
Confronting the Leader
The act of providing feedback to coworkers or a supervisor helps the organization be more successful. For some, it can be uncomfortable to approach a team member with anything other than positive feedback. With practice you can prepare to have a difficult conversation with your colleagues the right way.
What can you say to a sub-par performer?
Luckily, when we talk about sub-par performers, we find on average only 8% of our employees fall into this category. Because you will have a lower frequency of these types of conversations, practicing how to approach the conversation using the D.E.S.K. model will help you prepare for when those conversations are necessary.
It's time for a change
Approaching a conversation with a low performer is probably not your favorite task. However, ignoring bad behavior or performance will negatively impact others in the organization. Address the situation quickly and effectively using this guide to keep the rest of your team focused on achieving results.
Do You Know Who Your High Performers Are?
Identifying the performance levels our team members allows us to tailor our support specifically for them. The differences between high performers and low performers may seem simple, but it's possible that some low performers on your team are disguised as high performing individuals. How can you tell?
How Do We Really Know They're on Board?
All team members crave alignment to the overall direction of the organization to accelerate performance. People are counting on leaders to model the right behaviors, including the organization's most senior leader. It's the responsibility of this senior leader to engage employees, by keeping all of the executive leaders aligned to the goals, and to address any behavior that may be out of line.
Think before you speak
Use this template to plan key words for an impact conversation. Consider using this tool to practice a role-play scenario before addressing the team member who's the conversation is intended for. Preparation facilitates a productive impact conversation that will leave the team member feeling supported and motivated to improve.
Saying Nothing IS Saying Something
You may observe repeated behavior from others that is not in line with your organization's culture. Talking to that person about their behavior and the impact it has on the team and the results can help them become more aware and correct their actions. Plan for having an impact conversation with your colleagues by following these guidelines.
Are you prepared to address compliance issues?
We find that the better we can prepare our people to meet organizational expectations, the more successful they will be. Leaders are responsible for explaining what behaviors are acceptable and addressing those who are non-compliant. Use the following tip sheet to guide your future compliance conversations.
What You Allow Will Continue
Addressing behaviors and actions that are not aligned to the organizations' values and policies is crucial to improve organizational performance. Before high performers and other employees become distracted its important to initiate a conversation to correct the non-compliant behaviors with a focus on improvement.
Call It How You See It
Values and standards of behavior are essential to high performing organizations. They only work when respected by all team members. Having conversations with a colleague you feel has violated your organization's values is one way to assure everyone stays on course and their is continuous respect of standards.
I know each employee's performance level. Now what?
Moving an organization forward requires appropriate levels of leadership support and feedback for improvement. This begins with a clear determination of employee performance levels. This leadership challenge is designed to guide leaders through a process of differentiating staff performance levels.
How do I know where my employees land on the performance curve?
The first step in providing the most effective leadership support is to determine the performance level of each employee. The purpose of grouping employees is to differentiate the approach for feedback and improvement. This tool assists leaders in differentiating employee performance before having conversations that move the organization to excellence.
Accountability starts with knowing staff levels
Conducting performance conversations forces leaders to think through the performance of each team member. In this video, Superintendent Shelly Mize explains how the performance conversation process has helped her organization differentiate staff performance and apply appropriate support.
Why do I need to know staff performance levels?
Providing feedback to appropriately support varying performance levels requires assessment of employee performance. Placement on a performance curve helps a leader consider the different levels of staff performance and the type of performance conversation needed to guide improvement.
The difference between a low solid and high solid performance conversation
The structure for a low solid performance conversation differs slightly from that of a high solid. In this coaching clip, KK Owen outlines each type and provides a visual of the conversation differences.
How do I address performance that's less than great?
The objective of a low solid performance conversation is to communicatesupport for improvement. The leader is responsible for identifying the skill area to be improved, as well as resources to aid in the employee’s development. Consider this low solid scenario and how expectations are communicated and supported.
Have a conversation with a low solid performer
The goal for low solid performance is to support movement to the next level. In this video, the supervisor is committed to the employees success, provides clear notes about performance observations, and plans specific activities to develop skills.
What does a compliance conversation look like?
Compliance conversations are some of the toughest for leaders. They are also the most essential. Leaders can't afford to not address non-compliance. The supervisor in this clip takes a firm approach to clarifying expectations, describes the impact of non-compliance, checks for understanding, and asks for a commitment to change the behavior.
Skill vs. Will
The first step in supporting low performance is to assess if the low performance is a result of low skill or low will. This requires observation, and even documentation, related to the lack of task or job performance. High performers expect leaders to deal with low performers, and high performers will exit the organization if poor performance is not addressed and corrected.
How do I manage employee non-compliance?
Conversations with employees about lack of compliance require a specific leadership skill set. Developing skill in having non-compliance conversations is key to effective leadership. Addressing issues of employee "will” and “skill” helps achieve organizational results.
What do I say to my top performers?
A re-recruitment conversation is one of the easiest ways to retain a high-performing employee. The High Performer Re-recruitment Conversation Template guides leaders through the structure for this dialogue. During the conversation, this tool reminds you to tell them specific ways their contributions are valued.
High performers want conversation.
Re-recruitment of high performers requires intentional and thoughtful dialogue. Melissa Matarazzo leads a re-recruitment conversation with a high-performing employee, JoAnn Sternke. The conversation begins with gratitude and progresses to defining opportunities for advanced contributions.