Daily Buzz: Managing Underperforming Employees

Go beyond assessing your underperforming employees and take steps to set them up for success. Also: how associations can drive unemployed members toward career success.

It’s not easy managing an underperforming employee, especially during times of great stress and uncertainty. To do it well, leaders must treat the employee as a person, not just a cog in a wheel, suggest Pete Longhurst and John Austin on Fast Company.

To support improvement, managers should focus on employees’ strengths instead of their weaknesses. Managers who believe that an underperforming employee wants to succeed will foster a positive environment.

“Focusing exclusively on a person’s weaknesses is a telltale sign that we are seeing that person as an object. The danger of this response is that it can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy in which a manager can actually bring about the very behavior they dislike,” Longhurst and Austin say.

Additionally, your role as manager should go beyond assigning an employee tasks and then judging their performance. Take steps to set teams up for success by providing the training, guidance, and tools they need.

“This approach, also referred to as servant leadership, inverts the traditional hierarchical org chart, with the manager at the bottom, holding up their employees,” Longhurst and Austin say.

Transparency is also key for managers. Don’t shield employees from feedback for the sake of avoiding conflict. “Understand that being clear about an employee’s areas of opportunity doesn’t mean that you cannot continue to reinforce positive behaviors/strengths,” they say.

Helping Unemployed Members

At a time when the job market is unstable, associations can help their unemployed members in several ways. Make their hunt for a new job easier by creating a job board that posts open positions in your industry.

“A trade association job board connects people who need work with companies hiring now,” says a recent post from Gather Voices. “Hire a contractor to scrape listings from sites like Craigslist, or accept submissions directly. Reach out to major companies, and offer them the opportunity to post the very first job.”

Other Links of Note

How can event organizers monetize virtual or hybrid events? A recent post from Eventsforce breaks down seven ways to make money.

Shout it all out. Twitter announced that it’s rolling out a new audio record feature to iOS users. Mashable has the story.

How do you engage your digital audience? Northstar Meetings Group offers tips to create relevant and meaningful content for virtual events.

(marchmeena29/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!