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Use this Performance Improvement Checklist to Positively Manage Employees

When employees are in the “Wake Up Eager Zone” they feel confident, interested, energized and committed. They take pride in their work, they contribute their talents generously and their performance is consistent and reliable.  

As a leader, you want the people on your team to be "in the wake up eager zone" .  But what do you do when they aren't energized, consistent and reliable? What if Jim were on your team?

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 has fallen out of the "Wake Up Eager Zone." He's been with the company for a long time, he's a good guy and he’s been on your team for the past four years.  While he’s never been one of your top performers, he's demonstrated energy and commitment on the job and has done quality work.

But lately lately his performance has slipped. A LOT.  He’s missed deadlines, he's making mistakes and in meetings he seems distracted. And, to top it off,  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.  Use the three specific actions in the R.E.V. process if you have "a Jim" on your team.

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

R.  Remove Obvious Barriers: 

This action involves observation and discussion.  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?

  • 1) Does he have what he needs?   Review the tools and experience necessary for success in the job. 
  • 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?  
  • 3) 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 often a 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 Performance Dashboard using these steps
 Then, hold a Course Correction conversation, using these steps.

V.  Verify Job Fit:
Gallup's 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."  

Do this person's strengths match what the job needs? Does their Style, Motivational Drive, Personal Skills, Experience, and Future Plans check what is required for success in the job?

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.

Okay, now you know what you do.  And you have free tools to help you; 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.  

Use the R.E.V. process to have honest, honoring, and direct conversations with any employee who's not in the "Wake Up Eager Zone."   Your personal, professional, and business success depends on it!

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