Agencies come in all shapes and sizes, but a common issue that often occurs in these collaborative environments is unfair distribution of the workload.
While some employees are naturally efficient, others may need to spend more time developing their skills to improve their efficiency. However, many managers may not realize that employee inefficiencies may be costing their agency up to 30% of their revenue each year. Yikes.
To help ease any tensions when confronting an inefficient employee, check out the four tips below. For additional information on improving overall agency inefficiencies, download our free ebook, The Complete Guide to Solving Agency Inefficiencies.
4 Tips to Improve Inefficient Performances
Tip 1: Gather data.
Before meeting with the employee, make sure you have enough data to effectively back up the conversation. This helps ensure that the conversation remains productive, and the employee doesn’t feel attacked.
Pull time sheet records to assess the employee’s efficiency rates, and analyze which projects are consistently delivered late by this employee. You can also create a separate report with graphics to help the employee better understand how his or her actions have impacted the agency’s bottom line.
Tip 2: Schedule an in-person meeting.
Once you have concrete evidence of the employee’s performance, schedule an in-person meeting to discuss your concerns, and create benchmarks they should strive to exceed.
Keep in mind that this doesn't have to feel like a confrontation. Instead, treat the meeting like a brainstorming/problem-solving session where the two of you work on a plan to improve their performance moving forward.
Tip 3: Send a follow up email with action items.
Shortly after your in-person meeting, send a follow up email that summarizes:
- The employee’s current efficiencies and commonly missed deadlines.
- The benchmarks the employee should surpass.
- The expectations moving forward.
- The penalties if the agreed upon expectations are not met.
- The time and date of the follow-up evaluation.
Also make sure to document (in writing) any missed assignments and complaints from other employees that occur after your initial meeting. This will help you provide detailed, constructive evidence for your follow-up evaluation.
Tip 4: Schedule a follow-up evaluation.
Schedule a follow-up evaluation one month after your initial meeting to assess potential improvements in the employee’s performance, and discuss any additional disputes that were addressed by other employees (without naming names).
After the meeting, set up additional evaluations every month until the employee improves his or her performance. If the employee is still not achieving the benchmark goals you identified, it may be time to find a replacement.
Initiating a conversation with an inefficient employee can be uncomfortable, but with the proper tools, tone and proof, the meeting has potential to be extremely beneficial. Try to focus the conversation on evidence and data, and avoid sharing passive or irrelevant opinions.
What other tips have helped you improve efficiencies at your agency? Share your ‘lessons learned’ in our comments section below.