Guest Blog – 8-step guide to handling hiring headaches!

Guest Blog – 8-step guide to handling hiring headaches!

You’ve hired a new team member, who turns out to be a headache. From punctuality issues, lack of honesty, questionable work ethic, even a bad attitude – employee underperformance is disappointing. It’s doing your head in.  

Pulling up problematic behaviour is a sticky situation for trade business owners. When you genuinely want to be a great employer, managing difficult team members absolutely sucks. However, as the boss, the ball is in your court.

In this article, Angela Smith, co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie and fellow trade business owner, will outline her 8-step guide to handing hiring headaches. Firstly, here are the two forms of employee underperformance.

  1. Poor work

Your hire is not meeting expectations in the quality of their work.

  1. Poor behaviour

Your hire’s bad attitude or behaviour is causing problems within the  team.

You know the drill about unfair dismissal. Legally, you’re not allowed to fire an employee without following due process. (Visit the Fair Work website for specific due processes.) Before it gets this far, have a considered conversation.

Step 1. Identify the facts

Identify and understand the complete facts of the issue before having a conversation with your employee. Is the issue related to the employee’s output or behaviour? If available, have proof and examples of this ready.

Step 2. Establish ‘why’ this is an issue

Now you’ve identified the facts, clarify why this is an issue by asking yourself:

  • How does this issue negatively impact the business?
  • What is the extent of the issue (how bad it is the issue)?
  • How long has it been happening?

Step 3. Arrange the conversation

Schedule in a conversation with your employee to discuss the issue. Set up your conversation with this best-practice approach:

  • Choose a location away from other employees and distractions. However, the location should not be isolated, where the employee could feel vulnerable.
  • Invite the employee to bring along a support person as a witness.
  • Choose a location away from other employees and distractions. However, the location should not be isolated, where the employee could feel vulnerable.
  • Invite the employee to bring along a support person as a witness.

Step 4. The conversation

Stay solution orientated. During the conversation, cover the following:

  • Clearly identify the performance issue.
  • Explain ‘why’ this is an issue, for the employee and the team.

Give your employee the opportunity to express their point of view.

Step 5. The solution

Together, you and your employee must agree on a solution. This will increase buy-in and a commitment to change. Your solution will depend on the performance issue. Either way, it’s important to provide support, as the problem is being resolved.

Remember, it’s helpful to reflect on your own performance as a leader, too. For example, has your employee been afraid to be honest with you?

Step 6. Implementation plan

You’ve determined a solution, what’s next? Put an implementation plan in place:

  • Establish a starting point and timeline to demonstrate improvements.
  • Set a date to pick up the conversation again to discuss improvements.

Step 7. Monitor

Allow your employee the time to make the agreed improvements. Be there to support your employee in this period. It may be a daunting process for them. Monitor from a distance. Genuinely praise every improvement.

Step 8. Review

This conversation is a review of the implementation plan.

Has your employee made the improvements? If your employee has made absolutely no effort to improve, it’s up to you to decide whether their current level of work is valuable enough to your business to keep them employed.

When hiring an employee doesn’t play out the way you’d hoped, it’s up to you to go on the front foot to manage and resolve the issue, showing strong leadership skills. How would you rate the way you handle hiring headaches?

Want to know how to set up new team members for success? Download Lifestyle Tradie’s flowchart with the exact steps to onboard exceptional employees. 

Author notes

Angela Smith, co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, an award-winning education program and community for trade business owners who want to make more profit and fast-track financial freedom. Together with husband, Andy, they teach proven strategies that underpin the success in their own trade business, Dr DRiP Plumbing.

Meet Angela and Andy at Lifestyle Tradie’s free live event, Next Level Tradie. TradieWives, get your free ticket for our last ever Next Level Tradie.

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