How To Address Job Performance Issues

July 12, 2017

Common Job Performance Issues Include Bad Attitude:

“I have a really good employee who has been with us for a long time.  She is very efficient and productive, but she just has a bad attitude.”  As an EAP we often hear statements like this from managers or supervisors.  They are dealing with “a really good employee with a bad attitude.”  Typically, the bad attitude affects the workplace in a negative manner.  Bad attitudes are like a poison that infiltrates the workplace.

Keep in mind that a bad attitude is a job performance issue.  It is helpful to re-frame the problem and not think of it as “just” a bad attitude.  It is a job performance issue that is impacting the workplace.

A bad attitude is a job performance issue.

Would productivity and work climate improve without the “bad attitude”?  Indeed, it would.  In order to begin the process, step out of the comfort zone you’ve created, define what this bad attitude looks like, document the behavior, discuss with your employee, describe the changes you wish to see, and use the EAP as a resource to help you.  Expect resistance, but do not reinforce this behavioral problem by backing off.

We direct employers to look at these three areas to break down performance issues:

  • excessive sick days
  • frequent tardiness
  • leaving work early long breaks and lunches
  • inordinate amount of time on phone for personal use
Quality of work
  • Missed deadlines
  • Errors
  • Poor judgement
  • Complaints from customers
  • Wasting materials
  • Erratic work habits.
  • High accident rates
  • Refusal to follow instructions
  • Blaming others
  • Declining personal hygiene
  • Overreacting to real or imagined criticism

It’s human nature to want to delay having a tough conversation with an employee with a bad attitude. But that only makes things worse.  Here  Tim Gould  of HR Morning  provides some pointers to help with that conversation:

Acknowledge the awkwardness.

Managers can let employees know they’re providing feedback that’s difficult to discuss. It’s only human to feel that way.

Keep it results-oriented.

A phrase like “I’m bringing this up because it’s important you address this issue to be successful in your job” is helpful.

Accentuate the positive.

It’s a good idea to highlight the good things that are likely to happen when the person changes the disruptive behavior.

How The EAP Can Help

And since it’s going to be a tough conversation, it’s recommended that supervisors prepare for the discussion. Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) can help managers deal with job performance issues.  Consulting with your EAP provider in these situations can provide the support you need.  The EAP can also help set the goals and expectations as you move ahead with the individual. If you do not currently have an EAP, or if you are interested in our other well-being solutions for your workplace, please contact us.