January '20

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64 • RV PRO • January 2020 rv-pro.com RV I N S I G H T S that his perceived acceptable standards may be higher that what you require of him. • Clarity: Are the expectations you have for his performance and contribution to the business unclear? They may be clear in your mind, but does Kerry share the same expectations? • Help: Does he have enough resources to perform his job properly? Does the company have necessary resources available to offer Kerry? • Incentive: Has he lost sight of the reasons why doing a good job and contributing to the harmony of the shop are important? What's in it for him to comply? Incentive can include avoiding certain consequences as well as positive incentives. • Evaluation: Has he been given timely, specific feedback on his performance? What was done on the other occasions when the problem first presented itself? If Kerry was not specifically told that the first four incidents were unacceptable – even though log entries were made, is there any wonder why a similar situation reoccurred? • Validity: Does he believe that the rules and policies of acceptable workplace behavior don't apply to him? Maybe Kerry believes he is such an invaluable employee that he can engage in heated arguments with his co-workers without consequences. • External: Is there a situation occurring outside of work – e.g. financial, substance abuse, problems with the law or at home, or health-related problems – that is adversely affecting his performance on the job? If you determine this to be the root cause, seek appropriate, professional help from outside the organization. Do not attempt to intervene and try to rectify the situation yourself, unless you are properly trained and certified to do so. In the case of Kerry, you could prob- ably dismiss clarity and help from your list of possible root causes. Ability and validity are unlikely the causes, but can't be totally ruled out yet. Once you've log- ically whittled your list down, you can begin to write down questions you will ask Kerry during the counseling interven- tion to zero in on the primary root cause. Develop a Game Plan After speaking with Kerry, let's say you together conclude it's an incentive and external problem (trouble in his marriage) causing the disruptive behavior. The next step is to agree to a development plan. This development plan should be very specific and complete with conse- quences for non-compliance and incen- tives for improvement. It should be clearly explained to Kerry the adverse effects that his past observable behavior has caused. The key here is to focus on behaviors on the job. Don't attempt to psychoanalyze him. Perhaps, pointing Kerry in the direc- tion of marriage counseling or anger man- agement at a low-cost or free clinic would be a good suggestion – especially if your company is not willing to foot the bill. In the case where you determine other factors are the root cause of your situation, here is a quick reference as to what your options are: • Ability: Provide appropriate training, mentoring, or coaching; reassign to a job the individual is able to perform; termination (as a last resort). • Clarity: Set objectives; clarify expectations; establish performance evaluation criteria; engage in management by objective (MBO) management. • Help: Assemble and provide the necessary resources. • Incentive: Ask "What's in it for the employee?"; establish rewards, punishment, or sanctions; explain consequences. • Evaluation: Provide regular, systematic feedback. • Validity: Explain policies; treat the individual as others are treated. • External: Seek help from a qualified professional. Although you care about the health and welfare of your people, your area of expertise is in running a business. When novices introduce dime-store psychology, voodoo medicine, or spiritual advice, it constitutes borderline malpractice and, in fact, can do more harm than good in most cases. As much as we try, and hope, we cannot always be at the top of our game. We all have off days, struggles, and a life outside of work. However, when those issues start infil- trating business hours regularly, some- thing must be addressed. Take appropriate action when needed and be sure that you are supporting your employees, as well as your business. Begin a personnel log or file on every worker you employ. The file should include basic information about the person: position/title, start date ... and so on. Additionally, the file should contain a chronological list of key events or occurrences in the employee's tenure with your company.

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