Let’s assume that you’re dealing with task-related or culture-related disappointment in an employee. Now, I’m not an HR expert or an attorney, so if you have something you’re unsure of or feel like you need additional expertise, I recommend consulting with an expert in handling employee matters.
But here are the steps I take to move through this challenge and get to the other side!
First and foremost, I check in on my OWN emotions, especially if the mistake was made by a key employee. Shock, anger, frustration, fear, and embarrassment are all emotions I’ve felt in these situations over the years when I’ve been disappointed by an employee. I can have compassion and empathy, and still have those tough conversations. I just take a deep breath and try not to REACT.
Second, I review what the expected outcome was, and how far off the team member was from that expectation. IF they didn’t have an expectation, that’s on me – I needed to communicate it upfront, and I know I can’t hold someone responsible for a standard they didn’t know existed.
Next up, I make sure I have as many of the FACTS I can gather independently before I meet with the team member. I emphasize FACTS here, because that’s what I’ll need to focus on fixing. Gather examples, that are supported by those facts, to explain how the team member fell short of expectations..
After that, I schedule the meeting. I believe in letting the team member know what the meeting is about so that they aren’t surprised and don’t feel ambushed.