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Recruitment: Addressing under-performance among staff

by Sonya Buck, AgCareers.com Australia, 14 July 2017

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REGARDLESS of its size, any agribusiness’s bottom line can be affected by under-performance or decreased productivity among staff.

Not only does an under-performing team-member affect the business overall, they can also impact co-workers who may be forced to ‘pick up the slack’, and this can result in dedicated employees leaving and looking for new employment.

To address under-performance, it’s necessary to look at the likely cause or causes, and then some solutions. Here are just a few possibilities, for starters:

Lack of Motivation If the job isn’t a good fit for an employee – consider restructuring roles or cross-training employees. Make what employees do meaningful by offering extra training and attendance at relevant events. Also if their role is customer-facing, ensure they get out and meet suppliers or customers every now and then. Ensure that achievements are acknowledged – large and small.

Have you communicated your expectations effectively? Make sure the employee clearly knows what tasks they have been assigned and what they’re expected to do. Make sure that deadlines are clear. If you have not been happy with the standard of their work in the past, ensure you let them know what exactly you are expecting to be completed.

The wrong training or no training. In this case, you’ll need to pull out the employee records to check the training they have received and if it is relevant to their current role. Has technology been upgraded, but no training provided? Get feedback from the employee, maybe they need retraining? Maybe the training just didn’t stick?

Low morale may be affecting your employees. There are so many reasons for low morale, including employees feeling there is lack of trust; the belief they have no ownership over their work; lack of training (see above) and high employee turnover, which snowballs and can greatly impact your workers. Management must be aware of low morale and find out the cause and take action.

Distractions in the workplace. Are some of your employees not completing their work because they are distracted? Whether its workplace chatter, social media, noisy machinery, annoying mobile ring tones, it might be good to step in and stamp out these practices or make some technology adjustments.

In this article, we haven’t discussed the personal reasons why an employee may be under-performing. This may be a good place to start if you can’t identify what the issue may be. Talking to an employee and identifying any issues is a must.

Many well-run agribusinesses will already have routine performance reviews in place with staff, but don’t feel you must wait until the meeting date is is scheduled to address under-performance.

Fair Work Australia has some great tips on addressing under-performance in the workplace: Click here to view. 

Source: AgCareers.com Australia

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