I’ve experienced it too many times — supervisors who know they have an employee who doesn’t meet the grade yet continue to believe that demonstrating the right leadership, showing the right encouragement, illustrating the right skills, this person will come around. Then….what happens? Nothing much!

Maybe it isn’t just the under performing employee that needs a strategy, maybe this supervisor needs an action plan in this instance as well.

I’ve got an idea.

Buddy up the supervisor (yes, the supervisor) with another department’s supervisor, preferably someone at an equivalent place on the org chart (certainly someone who manages people). Have the two of them talk for ten minutes every two weeks about the progress of the under-performing employee. The very fact of this regular conversation demands a strategy. Now there will be feedback. Now there will be accountability. Those conversations might go to strategy and tactics, they could involve role-playing but they must focus on the employee’s forward motion.

This simple process doesn’t leave things to chance. Either the individual is moving into a productive zone or not. And our supervisor (or even ourself) gets his/her head out of the sand.

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