How to Turn Your Worst Employee Into Your Top Performer

Managers make the best decisions possible when hiring. Nobody wants to make a mistake in hiring; they can be costly and time-consuming.

But the fact of the matter is, hiring mistakes do happen. Maybe someone looked great on paper, or was great in the interview situation. But when the new hire began work, it was soon evident that were problems.

Issues can arise in performance, skill sets, or even team collaboration. It’s important to know how to turn problem employees into top performers. Here are three steps to take.

Create a performance plan

Once you realize an employee isn’t working in an optimal way, don’t hesitate. Create an individualized performance plan.

A good performance plan clearly states the areas that need to be brought up to speed. It includes specific, measurable, and actionable goals the employee must meet. Give a reasonable amount of time for the goals to be met, such as a week or a month. Make it clear to the employee they must be met for continued employment to occur.

Be sure to get the employee’s buy-in to the performance plan. Ask if they understand the issues involved, or need more training.

If the employee meets the performance plan goals, be sure to show appreciation. It’s a good motivator! However, if they don’t, be prepared to move forward with termination.

Focus on team development

Sometimes, issues with an employee stem from the team not being fully developed. Perhaps the team has personnel issues. Maybe the team members don’t fully understand their roles. It could be that team member’s roles might be more optimized if the roles were switched around.

Explore the potential of team issues to be a contributing factor. Discuss with the team leaders. Take action if that would improve team performance or contribute to better individual performance.

Develop methods for motivation

Employees often need to be motivated to work at their peak. Plan some specific motivators.

Show employee appreciation in tangible ways. Bringing in morning donuts or pizza for lunch once a month could be a great way to express your appreciation for good team performance.

Consider giving days off around the holidays. If business permits, give top performers a gift card.

Plan a campaign for employee of the month. Use newsletters or posters to announce the program, and then announce the winner every month. This gives multiple employees a chance to shine over the year.

How a Staffing Firm Can Help You Build a Team

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