<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

Team Members Miss Goals? How to Have a Conversation

Feb. 26, 2020 | Posted by The Alternative Board

No one likes to engage in “uncomfortable” or “difficult” conversations. Unfortunately, these conversations are sometimes necessary—particularly when team members fail to meet an agreed-upon set of targets and goals. In these cases, it’s important for the manager or supervisor to carefully think about what they intend to say and how they will communicate with the employee or team about what went wrong, and offer feasible solutions to the problem.

And, as with other things in work and life, putting off the conversation only makes the situation worse.

Here are tips on how to have that uncomfortable conversation and generate positive results from the experience:

Establish goals and revisit them.

Often, employers determine a fresh set of goals with employees at the start of a new year. Nothing wrong with that, unless these goals are neglected as time goes on.

“Improving employee performance means re-examining and readjusting goals,” notes Insperity. This approach keeps awareness of goals high throughout the year. Since “success is a moving target,” you must “be able to quickly adjust your sights, or you’ll miss it.”

Plan the setting and timing.

Don’t leave an uncomfortable conversation to chance. Think about what you intend to say and where the dialogue will happen. It can take place in a manager’s office but seeking out a more neutral venue—a local restaurant or even a walk through the business park—might ease the tensions implicit in the forthcoming conversation.

Also, be mindful of the timing. Consider what’s going to happen from the employee’s perspective. “How would you like the news delivered to you?” asks Staff Leasing. “Probably not in a surprise calendar invite from your boss titled ‘Urgent Disciplinary Meeting’ for 4:30 p.m. on a Friday.”

Want additional insight? Read 9 Tips for Motivating Your Employees now 

Register Here

Get to the point and be specific.

When the conversation gets underway, don’t beat around the bush with small talk about the weather or how the employee’s weekend went. Get to the point.

In a conversation about missed targets and goals, generalities won’t work. Provide specific examples of where the employee fell short, so there’s no confusion about why this conversation is happening.

Leave emotions out of the equation.

A challenging conversation only becomes more challenging if emotions are allowed to creep in. An employee will naturally be defensive about their work record, so be mindful of the words you choose, the tone in your voice, other aspects of body language, and so on.

Do your best “to avoid blaming or starting sentences with ‘you’ or ‘you always,’ and instead use ‘I feel’ or ‘I have noticed,’” advises Continuity. Also, stay away from dead-end phrases “such as ‘You always,’ ‘You never,’ and ‘Just forget it.’”

Give employees a chance to respond.

Remember, we are talking about conversations, not a one-sided monologue. As the discussion continues, “invite the employee to share their thoughts or reactions, and to raise any operational issues they’re experiencing that might contribute to an unsatisfactory performance.” Make clear you’re open to any questions they might have about the topic at hand.

Focus on solutions.

As noted, assigning blame is counter-productive. Far better is arriving at one or more solutions to the employee’s record of under-performance. Be prepared with suggestions for improvement, and a realistic timetable for the employee to adjust their work patterns and move more efficiently towards the company’s goals and objectives.

Finally, don’t allow the difficult conversation to exist in a void. Look for opportunities to check in regularly. Ask the employee or team member if there’s anything you can do to support their efforts. Reinforce your conviction that they are up to the challenge of meeting performance targets. A vote of confidence from you is often the best incentive you can provide to change the situation for the better.

Want to learn more? Check out our complimentary TAB BOSS Webinar, “How to Transform Any Tough Conversation from Emotional and Unproductive to Logical and Effective.”

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

5 Tips for Handling Bad Customer Reviews
Jul. 2, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
No business wants to get a bad review for its products or services. However, since it’s impossible to please all customers all the time, the likelihood of encountering dissatisfied customer reviews...
Journey Mapping and the Road to Customer Retention
Jun. 22, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
How well do you know your typical customer’s purchasing journey? Successful businesses work hard to understand this journey, from initial awareness of a need for your product, the subsequent...
A Quick Guide to Winning Back Lost Customers
Jun. 15, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Losing a customer is always cause for concern, but it can also be a learning opportunity. Businesses face a constant challenge of thoroughly understanding customer buying behavior, and when that...
How to Ask Customers for Referrals
Jun. 7, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Spend all the money in your marketing budget and you’ll hopefully see some favorable results, particularly in new customer acquisition. But this approach will also consume a great deal of time,...
5 Tips for More Effective Meetings, Virtual and Otherwise
May. 27, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Among many things the COVID-19 pandemic changed in the world, the concept of business meetings has undergone a dramatic transformation. For many businesses, meetings that take place on Zoom or other...
When the Time Comes to Fire a Family Member
May. 11, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Terminating an employee isn’t something business owners and CEOs relish. When the situation demands some drastic action, however, it’s necessary to follow through for the good of the business. The...
Managing Family Business Conflicts
Apr. 29, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Small business owners and CEOs have plenty to contend with as part of their normal daily operations. When the business is family-owned, a different crop of challenges may emerge. That’s because “the...
6 Ways You Can Improve Communication in a Family-Owned Business
Apr. 23, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The golden rule for the success of any family-owned business is to be transparent and have an open, honest, and straightforward line of communication.  While communication is critical to the success...
6 Tips on Making a Family Business Partnership Work
Apr. 20, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
We often hear stories about the difficulties of making a family business partnership successful. Yes, there are unique hurdles that differ from other types of business models, but with the right...
Tips on Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance
Apr. 16, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Among CEOs and business leaders, the search for the best work-life balance has been going on for years. Only recently has the crucial importance of this balance become crystal-clear for everyone....