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How to Manage Jim Back into the Wake Up Eager Zone: A Performance Improvement Checklist

When you are in the “Wake Up Eager Zone” you feel confident, interested, energized and committed. You take pride in your work and in the company you work for and your performance is consistent and reliable.  

It just feels good to be "in the zone" and, as a leader, you want the people on your team to be "in the zone" too.  But what do you do when you have a person on your team who’s obviously not there? What would you do if Jim were on your team?

Jim's 'Fallen Out' of the Wake Up Eager Zone...

How to Manage Jim Back into the Wake Up Eager Zone: A Performance Improvement Checklist.  Three actions for effective discipline and more motivation in the workplace

Jim’s Story: Jim’s been with the company for a long time. He’s a good guy and he’s worked for you for the past four years.  While he’s never been one of your top performers, he has in the past demonstrated energy and commitment on the job. He use to do quality work, but lately his performance has slipped. A LOT.

He’s missed deadlines and he's making mistakes. In meetings he seems distracted. And, to top it off, today an internal customer complained to you about his work.

You know you need to talk to Jim and that you need to take action.  But what do you do first?  How can you make sure that you’re honest and direct, without being too easy or too harsh? What exactly do you say that will give him the best shot at improving? How do you make sure that you're handling the situation correctly in case more serious discipline and actions are needed? 

Is it even possible to manage Jim back into the Wake Up Eager Zone? It might be. Here are three specific actions you need to take if you have "a Jim" on your team:

R.E.V.: Your Wake Up Eager Zone Performance Improvement Checklist

R.  Remove Obvious Barriers:  Does Jim Have the Right Tools, Experience and Training to do his job?  Is he getting the support he needs from you, from the company and from his peers?

This action involves observation and discussion.  Review the tools and experience necessary for success in the job. 

  • 1) Does he have what he needs? 
  • 2) If you know what his DISC personality style preferences are and if you know what his top two motivators are, have you been managing and communicating with him in a way that helps him thrive?  
  • Are there structural issues within the team or the company getting in the way of doing his job?  

Action Required: Observe, Discuss  and Answer The Questions Above

E.  Expectations for Performance:  Are Expectations Clear, Specific and Have They Been Discussed?   

Every time I ask a manager is she/he has clearly outlined performance expectations for the employee, always they say, "Yes. Absolutely."  

If I turn around and ask that manager's employees how clear about what needs to get done on the job, about 60 -70% of the time the employee says, "Uh. No, I'm not really clear about what's expected..."

There's a clear dis-connect here.  Managers and Leaders HAVE to HAVE the conversation about performance, and most don't.   Here's what you need to do:

  • Step 1) Create a Performance Dashboard of the top priorities in the job and then have
  • Step 2) an Effective Discipline conversation with "Jim".  

Action Required:  Create a Dashboard Using the Steps Outlined Here, and then Hold a Course Correction conversation, see the steps, Here.

V.  Verify Job Fit: Is This Person a Fit for the Job?  Does this person's Style, Motivational Drive, Personal Skills, Experience and Future Plan match what is required for success in the job?

Gallup Research tells us that 3 out of 4 people are not using their strengths on the job, and not using your strengths on the job keeps people out of the "Wake Up Eager Zone".  

You have to determine (VERIFY) whether "Jim" is a good fit for the job. 

Action Required:  Review the Four Areas of Job Fit.  Is Jim a Fit?  Not Sure?  Contact Me for a Complimentary Phone Discussion.

Take Action...

Okay, now you know what you do.  And you have free tools to help you - like the Dashboard of Priorities steps and the Complimentary Online Class.  There are no excuses.  

Have the conversation with "Jim". 

He'll be relieved.  (He knows he's not been doing well.)

You'll be relieved because you've done and said what needed to be done, and you've been a good leader.  

YOUR Wake Up Eager Zone days and business success depend on it!

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