December 21st, 2010
When it comes to an under-performing employee at your Spokane company, it can be tempting to ignore the problem or go to the other extreme and dismiss the employee altogether. But, in some cases, fixing an existing problem is less expensive than recruiting, hiring, and training a new employee. So here are some ways to help you deal with this tricky situation.
Identify the Problem
First, you should identify the problem and try to find the reasons behind it. For instance, maybe the employee isn’t in the right role and needs to be re-assigned. Possibly, the employee is having personal or family issues that are impacting their work quality. Or, as is sometimes the case, the problem could be an indication of a bigger management issue in the department or at the company as a whole. Whatever the reason, the only way to find out is to talk to the employee privately.
If the performance issue rests solely with the employee, not with management, then your next step should be to work with the employee to develop a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). In simplest terms, a PIP is a plan to help an employee improve his or her performance. Here are the steps to take to develop an effective PIP:
- List what performance areas needs improvement. Be as specific as possible. Don’t talk about behaviors, talk about results. For instance, don’t say “Your aren’t being productive enough.” Instead, say something like: “You’re often quite late in the morning, which is impacting your ability to get your work done.”
- Also describe the expected standard of performance. Be very clear, using examples, about how you expect the employee to perform in the future.
- Let your employee know what resources, training, materials, and support you will provide to help them meet expectations. For example, an employee might need to participate in a training program in order to gain knowledge and skills to perform their job better.
- Create a plan for offering feedback to your employee. Let them know when and with whom they will be meeting to discuss performance. Be specific when it comes to the measurements you will be using to evaluate performance. Also, make clear the consequences of not meeting performance expectations.
Once you’ve developed the PIP, make sure your HR department reviews the plan to ensure it’s consistent with company policy and that it treats the employee fairly. And if, throughout the process, you and your HR department determine the employee is not making acceptable progress, it may then be necessary to take disciplinary action, such as verbal and/or written reprimands and if those don’t work, a suspension from work. If the employee is still not willing or able to make progress, then it may be necessary to terminate them.
In the future, conducting regular performance reviews can help you tackle performance issues. At the very least, conduct reviews annually, but you’d be even better served by conducting performance reviews every few months. That way, any issues that arise can be addressed quickly and don’t come as a surprise to the employee. In addition, by having frequent performance reviews, you can set smaller, more achievable goals and check in more regularly on whether goals are being accomplished.
And if you need help finding top-performing employees in Spokane, please contact Provisional. As a leading Spokane staffing agency, we can help you find experienced, reliable, and skilled employees for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire positions. Contact us today to learn more!
November 2nd, 2010
The end of the year is rapidly approaching, which means it’s time to start thinking about scheduling those dreaded employee performance reviews. While most employers – and employees – are uncomfortable with the process (after all, who likes giving or getting criticism), these reviews are a great opportunity to offer feedback, and revisit expectations and goals.
As an experienced Spokane staffing agency, we’ve put together some tips and advice to help make the review process a little less painful for you:
1. Create a performance file on each employee.
At the end of the year, it can be difficult to remember the good, the bad, and the ugly about every employee you’re reviewing. To make it easier, create a performance file for each employee and make notes throughout the year about their performance. Include letters from customers, copies of work (good or bad), and notes to yourself. While it’s too late to create files for this year’s reviews, consider implementing this idea to make next year’s performance review process easier.
2. Use an evaluation form.
A week before performance reviews, hand out evaluation forms to be completed by your employees. On the form, you should ask employees to note specific objectives and goals they have achieved over the course of the past year, what areas need improvement, and what their short- and long-term career goals are. Employees are often aware of their short-comings and this form helps to open the door to discuss them, as well as the more positive aspects of their performance.
3. Get input from others.
When appropriate, get feedback and specific performance examples from other staff members or from customers.
4. Set the tone with a positive.
Always start each performance review with a positive. This is a good time to tell each employee how much you value their hard work.
5. Be specific.
When you do have a criticism to offer an employee, it’s important to be as specific as possible. Give the employee an example where they didn’t meet expectations. Don’t just say something like: “You’re not a good communicator.” Instead, consider something like: “Some of the mistakes you’ve made are a result of not asking enough questions at the start of each project.”
6. Review regularly.
Implement a policy for regular performance reviews. For instance, make sure you evaluate employees every year. For new hires, you may want to conduct performance reviews at the three-month and six-month marks, as well.
Another reason you should consider regular reviews is to avoid having to conduct a review prompted solely due to bad behavior or poor performance. This can imply that information is being collected to document the poor performance should the employee be fired.
And if you need help implementing a performance review process, please contact Provisional, a Spokane staffing agency with over 16 years of experience.
June 8th, 2010
As an HR and staffing agency serving Seattle and Spokane, we’ve seen companies make a lot of HR mistakes. And, unfortunately, these mistakes can be like ticking time bombs, just waiting to explode.
So what can you do to avoid employee-related errors? Here are some tips:
Not establishing a sexual harassment policy.
Employers are liable for the actions of their managers. That means if you have a manager who is acting inappropriately, you are responsible. In light of that, make sure you implement an effective sexual harassment policy. Also, be sure to act in a timely manner to investigate any claims of sexual harassment.
Not completing I-9 forms for new employees.
This can be a costly mistake if the Immigration and Naturalization Service audits you. You are not required to photocopy employee-produced documents, but you must be sure to fill out the I-9 forms completely.
Failing to document disciplinary action.
Make sure you document the unsatisfactory performance of an employee. If it ever comes down to it and you have to fire them, you’ll have documented proof of their poor performance. Not keeping documentation can leave you vulnerable to discrimination lawsuits.
Requiring medical exams before a job offer.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits employers from asking candidates about disabilities or requiring medical exams before an offer of employment is made. You can ask a candidate to take a job-relevant medical exam only after offering a position to them.
Failing to take keep your workforce union free.
Be sure to remain in constant communication with your employees to deal with grievances. If employees don’t think you’re interested in issues impacting them, then they may look outside the workplace for representation.
If you have any questions about HR and employment law, please contact Provisional. As an HR and staffing agency serving Seattle and Spokane, we can answer any questions you may have and help to ensure you are in compliance with all necessary state and federal employment regulations.
February 23rd, 2010
Many companies today aren’t strategic when it comes to their most valuable asset – their people. Instead, they are reactive, waiting until the sky is falling before taking any action.
But to succeed in today’s business environment, developing a staffing strategy is key to operational efficiency and adaptability. When used effectively, it can make life easier for you – helping you to manage your workload, meet goals, and fill in gaps in your workforce.
Here’s how developing a staffing strategy can impact your company:
Let temporary employees, not your core staff, handle administrative and low priority activities.
Helps you meet increases in demand.
Hiring for what could be a brief spike can be risky, but so is losing sales because you couldn’t fulfill orders. Consider using temporary employees to meet the rise in demand without committing to more permanent hires.
Helps you prepare for anticipated peaks.
From busy seasons to holidays, you know when demand rises. Hiring extra temporary help during those times only can help you improve flexibility and productivity – without increasing overhead.
Allows you to easily tap into skilled talent.
Bringing in someone with specific experience or specialized skills can save you time and money by shortening the learning curve for a new process.
Lets you fill gaps in your workforce.
Relieve the stress of employee absences by bringing in temporary support in cases of illness, maternity leave, or vacation.
Strategic staffing can actually bring stability to your workforce by easing the stress of rises in demand, while still allowing you to operate in a lean manner. In fact, a good staffing strategy can help you do more with less!
If you’re interested in developing a strategic staffing strategy for your company, contact Provisional. As a leading staffing agency serving Seattle and Spokane, we can deliver the support and expertise you need – when you need it – while helping you avoiding the expense and problems caused by overstaffing.