Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to Help an Underachiever

This post is from Jack Hayhow's blog, that he started to support his book, The Wisdom of the Flying Pig: Guidance and Inspiration for Managers and Leaders, PigWisdom. (The blog is discontinued).

The March issue of Inc. Magazine had a good feature in the Smart Questions column entitled "How to Help an Underachiever". The column suggested six questions:

  1. Your work performance has slipped. Is something wrong?
  2. Can you describe your job to me?
  3. Do you have what you need to do your job?
  4. Are you adequately trained?
  5. Is something at work preventing you from doing a good job?
  6. When was the last time we had a performance review?

Jack comments:

All good questions - and the Inc. column commented on them nicely. If you'd like to learn more about how to help an underacheiver, I'd suggest our free online course, Coaching for Performance.

The funny thing is that Jack spelled UnderAchiever wrong throughout the post. Also, I would have added a 7th Question: "Are you still interested in working here? If not, my kid wants to go to college and your salary and benefits would just about cover it."

Seriously though, in today's economy, finding talented staff is a challenge -- a costly one. Surveys show that hiring the wrong person can cost thousands in time, energy, effort, lost productivity - almost 1/3 the person's salary. Moreover, as a busy business owner you don't want to spend your valuable time doing the Hiring & Training Process every 90 days. If someone shows potential, you certainly would like to make it work out. The article offers decent advice to start a dialogue with the employee.

Motivating Employees is an age old HR issue. The best pointer I can give you is that Money is not always the best motivator. (Look for an e-book to come out in March - email southeast_dsl at yahoo to get on the notification list). If you need help with Employee Matters, please set an appointment with me to talk it through.

As some of you are aware, at ISPCON in the Fall in San Jose, I presented a session called Hiring 101, which an ISP sort of taped for me. (It's missing some of the beginning). If you want a link to the video, leave a comment. Thanks!

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