Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Smart means planning to succeed: a tailored HR plan, managing your risks and making the right decisions first time. Working smarter saves you time, money and rework.

Grow Stronger

Grow Stronger

Strength is your growth foundation: right people in the right roles and a culture of high performance and low maintenance. Growing stronger equals success... and more time for you to enjoy it.

Move Faster

Move Faster

Faster is better with smart speed: an engaged, confident and capable workforce achieving more in less time. Moving faster means first to new customers and new opportunities.

Work Smarter

Work Smarter

Smart means planning to succeed: a tailored HR plan, managing your risks and making the right decisions first time. Working smarter saves you time, money and rework.

Grow Stronger

Grow Stronger

Strength is your growth foundation: right people in the right roles and a culture of high performance and low maintenance. Growing stronger equals success... and more time for you to enjoy it.

Move Faster

Move Faster

Faster is better with smart speed: an engaged, confident and capable workforce achieving more in less time. Moving faster means first to new customers and new opportunities.

Difficult conversations: easier than you might think

We’ve recently been working with Bare Bones Consulting clients to upskill their managers in conducting difficult conversations to address employee underperformance. Here’s the snapshot:

Employee underperformance can take many forms:

  • a failure to perform the duties of the position or to perform them to the standard required
  • non-compliance with workplace policies or procedures
  • disruptive or negative behaviour that impacts on co-workers

There are many reasons for employee underperformance, including:

  • the employee not knowing what is expected of them
  • a mismatch between an employee’s capabilities and the job they are required to undertake
  • lack of personal motivation or low morale in the workplace

Whatever the reason, it’s vital underperformance be addressed…and the earlier the better. But let’s be realistic: no one enjoys doing this. Conversations around employee underperformance are difficult for all concerned and, as a result, employee underperformance often goes unaddressed…and escalates.

If you take one thing away from this blog, it should be this: when it comes to effective people management, it’s less important to be nice and more important to be fair. And that means dealing with people when they underperform. From your line level employees to your executives: no exceptions.

Here’s some tips to help you manage these challenging discussions:

Take a breath: focus on taking the emotion out of difficult conversations. Take some time to calm yourself by doing some preparation on the upcoming discussion. Still sh*tty? Take some more time.

Separate the performance from the person: performance discussions should always be based on observable behaviours, not personal characteristics. Got a persistently late team member? List the dates and arrival times. When you focus on the observable behaviour, emotion is naturally minimised.

Define the problem: what’s the exact underperformance example? Make this as simple and concise as possible so the employee understands your concern.

Explain the impact: underperformance typically affects the business, co-workers or both. Useful terminology for these discussions is on impact to “reputation, viability or profitability”. There’s a specific reason for these 3 keywords. Five bucks to the first person who calls me with the reason.

There’s a number of standard steps that follow when conducting underperformance conversations. And they are simple. Really simple. Like to know more? Contact Bare Bones consulting here or give us a call; we can show you how to make the difficult conversations less difficult…so you have less of them.

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    Burleigh Town 4220,
    Queensland
  • 07 5576 4693
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  • Bare Bones Consulting

Contact Us

Give Bare Bones Consulting a call to discuss our range of HR services to help your business succeed.

Even if you elect to not proceed after our first complimentary consultation you’ll be in a better position to know what’s possible.

We believe our approach to HR is unique... but then again, so is your business.