A positive way to resolve poor employee performance:

A positive way to resolve poor employee performance:

Why disciplinary action and personal grievances don’t always have to be the answer.

Performance is tied into the motivation and happiness of the individual in the workplace  and wherever that individual is operating at links to the energy and overall performance of the team.

Once a manager identifies there has been a drop in individual performance or motivation this usually becomes a slippery slope for the employee. The organisation looks to follow due process to give the individual time to remedy the performance issue and start engaging in an empowered way. However for most employees, at this point the relationship between them and management has already deteriorated. The rest of the story is self explanatory.

Here’s what I know. When performance starts slipping it is because something has shifted in the individual and they have moved from being in an empowered to a disempowered state. When an individual moves into a disempowered or disconnected state, they start operating with default based behaviours. The behaviours at time can be likened to playground dynamics eg It’s not fair, He/ She doesn’t like me, I am not good enough.

What I believe can be done to remedy this is:

  1. Work with the employee to understand what drives them and why they are not performing to their usual standard. In nearly all cases, it is because they have shifted into default behaviours mode and are unaware of where it came from, why it’s showing up and what they can do to shift it.
  1. It is also apparent as to whether the employee is actually living to their purpose. Part of this can be that the company’s values and purpose are misaligned with their own. Sometimes, it is clear that they are ready for a change. Internally they know it but adult concerns about income and finding another role comes into play. As well as this, their own internal dialogue that is operating justifying, blaming, in denial or plain sabotaging their current role.
  1. Once we get clear on what, or who, is driving the discussions ie adult concerns or default based behaviours or both we can set to work getting the employee focused on their plan moving forward.
  1. If the employee has clarity that perhaps it is time to move on from the current role, they can do so with confidence or alternatively become a performing employee once more. The employer can then work with the employee in a support capacity and all ends well.  If it does transpire that the employee stays and due process is necessary in a disciplinary investigation, then the employer may be looked upon favourably in the court process as it has provided support to the employee to assist them even if it was to no avail.

So what does this mean for the organisation?

For an initial spend on an external party, this is mitigated by the following outcomes:

  • Employee performance picks up and no further action is required
  • Employee moves on by their own violation and there is no need for personal grievances)
  • If a disciplinary process is undertaken, the money invested in the employee may be looked on favourably in the process reducing overall costs to the employer.

Of course, the ideal is to put these structures in place before any of this happens.  So if you want to know more about what we offer or talk to some of clients who we have helped through this very process, feel free to contact us to have a confidential chat.  info@paradigmshift.co.nz.



Rebecca Morris

Rebecca set up Paradigm Shift in 2011 because in her corporate career she repeatedly observed leaders choosing to let chaos reign rather than work out strategies for effective change. Or put simply – poor leadership.

With a background in educational psychology, roles as CEO, sales executive, business coach, business owner and teacher, Rebecca uses her proven experience and insights along with her practical tool box to get results.

Rebecca observes human behaviour and associated patterns and enables leaders to become present to their patterns through her IP, Observational Intelligence (OI). Rebecca uses her 'cycle of interruption' approach to interrupt, innovate and lead from new paradigms creating collectively powerful leaders and culture-safe organisations.

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