Head HR of TCS Nagpur, Mridul Chakravorty, is a certified coach and is very interested in studying the way human mind works, conducted interactive session on “How to deal with underperforming Employees, ” which was organised by VIA HRD Forum recently at VIA.
Mridul said dealing with underperforming employees is quite difficult, which can lead to some uncomfortable conversations. He said it is a moment every HR manager anxiety, how to manage an under performing employee? Underperforming employee is also a part of your organization and you have an employee, who is not doing well at their job.
The basic common thought, he shared with participants, if some of your team members aren’t performing at their best, it can bring down morale and affect the overall goals of your business. It is important and fair, for both yourself and the underperforming employee, to find a solution to the issue. Ideally, all employees should understand what is expected of them, and indeed if you feel this isn’t clear, then they may not even realise they are underperforming.
Mridul said ask yourself these questions before approaching the person i.e. have all employees been told openly what you expect from them? Do they understand what the consequences are from underperformance? are they given regular and clear training, such as face to face, training materials or otherwise? Are you confident that they understand they are underperforming?
He informed that normally in every organization periodic performance appraisals are not happening? they are conducting once in a year or only did annually at the time of increment, wage raise, promotion, etc. He said you should ‘Introspect” your employee monthly, quarterly instead of appraising yearly, which clearly communicate to your employee about the performance goals of the organization. For better performance goals, you should also allow your employees to participate, to the extent possible, in the formulation of their performance goals.
In most of the organization, the common performance deficiencies are witnessed because of absenteeism, tardiness, poor attitude / insubordination, poor task performance and poor contextual performance. The other aspects of performance are organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and Emotional Labour (attributes). The OCB is closely related to the concept of contextual performance. OCB defined as discretionary individual behaviour that is not formally recognized by organisations’ reward systems and that promotes the effective operation of organization (Organ, Podsakoff & MacKenzie 2006). He further said “Emotional Labour (Attributes)” these are the emotions that employees must appropriately display to do their job effectively (Grandey 2000).
Coaching to your employees is must and not counseling. Frequently, an employee’s actions do not warrant the use of formal disciplinary actions. In these cases, informal measures such as informal verbal coaching should be used. He said before conducting the coaching session, the supervisor or manager should prepare a list of issues that will be covered in the counseling session. He said avoid accusatory language, avoid disparage the employee; try to maintain rapport for the sake of the long term working relationship, Mridul added.
He also suggested some Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) for organization, which is a tool employers use to improve behavior or employee. PIPs are generally not considered to be employee discipline, but rather a developmental tool for low performing employee, which is signed by employee and at least one representative of the employer. This plan should include goals for increased performance and steps to be taken to achieve these goals. PIPs also include timelines for achieving performance goals. In every organization, we should prepare chart i.e. performance standard, performance issue/concern, action and/or support provided (e.g. training retraining), deadline for attaining goal and finally outcome (list results and / or accomplishments and completion/attainment date).
On the other hand, motivation is must for underperforming employees, one should arrange programs, support your employee by giving them job security, insurance, which inspires encourages employees to attain organizational goals. The ongoing training should be giving your employees new knowledge and skills that will be both beneficial to you and their long-term career.
He advised to control such employees by way of Disciplinary Options are oral warning / reprimand is oral meeting discussing misbehavior of performance deficiencies and necessary steps to improve performance; written warning in which employee is given a written statement of performance deficiencies and advised in writing that future deficiencies may result in further disciplinary action. Other options are suspension, leave with or without pay; demotion. etc.
He further mentioned the importance of documentation apart from whether progressive discipline is used, it is important to document the reasons for the imposition of disciplinary action, which outcomes are employee separation (voluntary or involuntary), employee withdrawal (psychological or physical) and bystander (co-worker) reactions.
President – VIA, Atul Pande, Vice President of VIA, Aditya Saraf, Former Chairperson VIA LEW Anita Rao, and other representatives from industries, HR Professionals were prominently present at the occasion.
Earlier, Mentor – VIA HRD Forum, Prof Ashit Sinha, welcomed the guest speaker with floral bouquet. Chairman of HRD Forum, Hemant Lodha, in his welcome address said today’s topic is very interesting and in every organization you will find that there are two types of employees one is competent performer and another one is incompetent non performer and to know more how to handle incompetent non performer, our expert speaker would guide you on this.
Co-Chairman – VIA HRD Forum, Suresh Pandilwar, introduced Mridul Chakravorty. Convener – VIA HRD Forum, Neelam Bowade, conducted the proceedings. Prof Ashit Sinha summed up the discussed and also proposed a formal vote of thanks.