It’s not just bad employees who don’t succeed. Sometimes, even your best hires aren’t performing to the level you expect. And you’re left scratching your head as to why.
This scenario isn’t that unusual. Many a promising employee has been hired on only to disappoint. Or be disappointed themselves.
When this happens, it’s best to invest some time and resources into figuring out what’s going on. Sometimes, the problem lies in the hiring process. As in, you’re not finding the right people. Other times, it could be a matter of cultural fit. And then there are the times when it’s you. Yep. You could be the reason your employees aren’t succeeding.
Here are four common things that can hinder employee success:
1. Lack of direction
If your employees aren’t clear about what they need to do, how can they possibly perform to standard? Assigning tasks in a haphazard way will get you haphazard results. Be clear about your vision and expectations. Provide detailed guidelines, processes and timelines. Check in regularly to monitor progress, answer questions, and address any challenges. Remember to solicit feedback from your team in addition to providing it for them.
2. Insufficient communication
Checking in the day before a project is due is too little, too late. Especially if you neglected to share said due date in the first place. Communicate clearly and openly before and throughout a project to make sure everyone is on the same page. Once the project is complete, communicate some more. Talk about what worked and what didn’t. Answer questions and make notes about ideas for next time. Keep in mind that communication is a two way street. It’s not just about you talking. It’s about you listening as well.
3. Poor project management
If you’re responsible for managing a project and it goes awry, you need only look in the mirror to find out why.
- Create an atmosphere of communication, trust, and confidence, and people will naturally succeed.
- Rely on micromanagement, fear and distrust, and you will see projects get done, but only to minimal standards. You will have effectively squashed all creativity, innovation, and project ownership.
- Manage like a magician, appearing out of nowhere to assign projects, leaving the details hidden in your bag of tricks, and constantly looking for applause, and you will see results disappear in a puff of smoke— along with the respect of your team.
4. Lack of teamwork
If your organization operates in silos- or worse- in silence, you’re setting yourself up for failure from the start. Teams need to work together, talk together, succeed together, and celebrate together. Having a supportive team can be the difference between success and failure. If your leadership isn’t actively encouraging and facilitating these qualities in your staff, the results will reflect it.
Are your employees struggling?
Sometimes, it can feel like you’ve been blindsided when a key project or employee doesn’t come through. But there are usually some telltale signals that things aren’t working, if you know where to look.
Here are some signs your employees are in the dark:
- Missed deadlines
- Resignation letters
Okay. That last one was a joke. But the cost of underperforming employees isn’t.
If this is an issue in your company, it’s time to take a good look at your HR and management processes to see what’s going on. Look for patterns of behavior among teams and projects, and commit to carving out time with top leadership to talk about what changes need to be made. It may not be easy, but it’s critical work. Your employees (and your business!) are depending on you.
Need help with performance management, employee turnover, and HR strategy? Want to be a coveted employer of choice in the greater Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC area? Get in touch with Raffa. We love this stuff! And it’s what we do for our clients every single day.
Photo by Jonathan Souza