As a manager, you are invested in your employees’ growth and success. You want them to thrive in their roles, be engaged, and contribute to the success of your team and organization. However, not all employees live up to these expectations. Occasionally, you will encounter an employee who has lost motivation, care, and passion for their work. It can be challenging to manage such an employee and motivate them to improve their performance. Let’s take a closer look at steps you can take to manage out an employee that has stopped caring, in a compassionate and respectful way.
Identify the underlying issues
Before you act, try to understand why the employee has lost their passion and motivation. Is it a personal issue, a lack of recognition, burnout, or a mismatch between their skills and the job requirements? As a manager, it is crucial to keep lines of communication open and establish a safe space for honest conversations with your employees. This will allow for a productive dialogue and help determine the root causes of the lack of motivation.
Communicate clearly and frequently
Once you have identified the underlying causes, it is essential to communicate with the employee about your concerns and expectations. Be clear about what you expect from them, and how their lack of care is affecting the team and the company. Listen to their perspective and try to collaboratively agree upon a plan of action to address their behavior. Maintain open and honest communication throughout the process and constantly follow-up to check on progress.
Set Clear Objectives
Once you have discussed the issues with the employee, it is vital to align expectations and set clear objectives for improvement. The objectives should be specific, measurable, and time-bound to provide clarity and accountability for both parties. Highlight the desired outcomes, what success looks like and offer additional support if needed. It is important to document the objectives and monitor progress towards the goals.
Create SMART Goals together.
It’s important to remember that an employee's performance is not always entirely their responsibility. Try to offer support and resources that could motivate the employee to get back on track. Training, coaching or mentoring programs can provide employees with new skills, knowledge, and confidence. Additionally, senior management may allocate additional resources or projects which could reignite the employee’s passion and motivate them to engage and invest in their work.
Follow your policy
If despite your efforts, the employee is still unproductive, and underperforming, it is time to take action. Follow your company’s policy and consult with HR on the appropriate steps to take. Consider working with the employee to write a performance improvement plan (PIP) to provide clear steps for improvement, as well as future expectations and consequences. Document the performance issues and meetings but do so with empathy and respect.
Letting go of an employee is never an easy decision. However, it is essential to recognize when an employee is no longer engaged in their work and proactively address the situation. Managing out an employee who has stopped caring requires compassion, empathy, and openness. Remember to document your conversations and objectives, seek to understand the underlying issue, and offer support throughout the process. By doing all you can to support the employee and aid in their success, you may find you can re-ignite their passion and restore a happy and engaged workforce.
Letting Them Go: Managing an Employee Who Has Stopped Caring
Marty Jalove of Master Happiness is a Corporate Coach, Business Consultant, and Marketing Strategist that helps small businesses, teams, and individuals find focus, feel fulfilled, and have fun. Master Happiness stresses the importance of realistic goal setting, empowerment, and accountability in order to encourage employee engagement and retention.
The secret is simple: Happy Employees attract Happy Customers and Happy Customers come back with Friends.