Performance: Suddenly Unacceptable

What causes an employee to lose their way? When someone that has been committed to the company and given 110% effort for years, gradually loses their enthusiasm, what options does the employer have?

Of course, if noticed in time, it may be necessary have a fact-finding conversation with the employee that may or may not lead to clues. The employee likely realizes that things have changed although he/she may not be willing to do forensics on the cause.

Consider these things that can cause fatigue or loss of enthusiasm:

  • Change in technology without adequate training and follow-up support
  • Management changes – often time styles of communication are different so the messages may be less positive or reassuring or there may be an assumption that the long-term employee doesn’t need feedback
  • Have meeting attendee lists changed that might cause the employee to feel left out (even though they may no longer need to attend)?
  • Changes in expectations or job descriptions that have not been documented so the employee may feel that no one notices the additional workload
  • Was a coworker recognized or promoted? Sometimes an employee won’t understand why he/she was not recognized—again, communication is the ticket
  • Has the work become boring? Has the employee had any challenging assignments recently?
  • Does the employee have a “best friend” at work? Studies show that employees are happier when they have a friend at work.
  • Has the employee been given an opportunity to grow or learn something new?

Bottom line…almost everyone wants to know his/her work matters.

Does the employee know how their work fits into the overall mission and annual goals? If not, help them set stretch goals for the next six weeks…and then the next six weeks, etc., so they can realize how important their work is to the organization.

For ideas on engaging employees, conducting performance reviews, setting goals, or retaining top employees, give us a call or visit our website or email to discuss your particular situation.

For now, take the high road and invest in your employee. Set goals and deliberately seek to retain your top performers.

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